Termsort icon Term description
Wrath of God

Wrath means Anger. Most people think of God as just kind of a nice guy - just a friendly fellow. And the idea that he would be really, really, mad about sin just seems to escape most people. But the Bible says otherwise. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness..." God is mad at sin.

Two Natures

Refers to the two natures of Christ. Fully human nature and also the complete divine nature as the Son of God. These two natures are united in the person of Jesus Christ.


The belief that in the Sacrament the elements actually change into the Body and Blood of Christ, and bread and wine cease to exist.

Total Depravity

Original Sin, meaning we are depraved in spiritual things according to our fallen nature. Our fallen will has an inability to embrace the things of God.

Three Estates

Family, Church and State. God's ordering of creation. Intregal in understanding the created order.


Greek word meaning "Mother of God." The doctrine that Mary is rightly called "the mother of God." Originates in the Nestorian Controversy (c. 431 A.D.) who taught that Mary was the mother of the human nature of Christ but not the divine nature, resulting in a separation of the two natures of Christ.


Deification, used mostly by Eastern Orthodox. Denies forensic justification.


The visible appearance of God in our world.

Theology of the Cross
Theology of Glory

The theology that God reveals his favor to man through blessings or spiritual experiences rather than the hiddenness and lowliness of the cross and suffering (known as theology of the cross).


From Greek, meaning "judgment of God." Theodicy is the question of how is God's justice and goodness manifest when bad things are happening. e.g. when the question is asked "How can bad things happen to good people."

Textus Receptus

Latin "Received Text", The collection of Greek manuscripts as collected by Erasmus during the Reformation Era.


Jesus gives us His New Testament in the Last Supper. A testament begins at the death of the person who made it (last will and testament).


Latin meaning temptation. From Luther's teaching on what makes a theologian: prayer (oratio), meditation (meditatio), and temptation (tentatio).


The idea that man and God work cooperate in salvation.


The practice where people of different religions worship together as if worshiping the same God.


A thing is best handled at the closest level to the thing itself. i.e. raising children is best done by the family.


Term used in Systematic Theology, to talk about the study of the theology of salvation.


Systematic Theology. The study of the theology of salvation.

Sola Scriptura

Latin meaning "Scriptures Alone." The phrase means that the Bible Alone has authority and is the infallible voice of God.

Simul justus et peccator

Simultaneously saint and sinner.

Sensus literalis unus est

"The literal (or intended) sense is one." The literal sense is the meaning of the text.

satisfactio vicaria

Latin, Vicarious Satisfaction, The wrath of God is satisfied in the death of Jesus in place of us sinners.


From the Latin "sanctus" (meaning holy). Being made holy. Sanctification, in the broad sense, is everything the Holy Spirit does to bring us into the Holy presence of God. Also in the narrow sense, the work of the holy spirit through the means of grace to increase in us good works.


The council of 71 Jewish authorities who governed the Jewish nation while under the rule of Rome.


Literally, "Holy One." In the church, one who is baptized and believes in Christ.


Mostly used as a slur when people are telling you that you are exalting the pastor over the people. That is, it is the belief that a special, segregated order of men, called the priesthood, are the only ones who can commune directly with God.


God reveals a truth. Natural (in the world) and spiritual (God reveals it through Scripture).


The reuniting of body and soul together.


Calvinist term. God elected certain people to be damned: the reprobates.


Jesus has purchased us with us blood. He has redeemed us.


The prophecies of Christ in the OT were fulfilled by Christ.

Real Presense

1) The Secret taking of Christians to heaven before the 7 year tribulation (view of premillennialists).
2) Those who are living on the last day when Christ returns to judge the quick and the dead (Biblical teaching, cf 1 Thess 4:13f and 1 Cor 15:51f)


Jesus is the sufficient sacrifice for our sins, satisfying the wrath of God.


The doctrine in which God elects men to be saved from the beginning of time. In Lutheran doctrine, predestination is always for the sake of the Gospel because the Bible doesn't say that God elects some for damnation.


The belief in the end times that says the Gospel will so infiltrate the world that there will be a golden age of rule by the church for 1,000 years (millennial) after which Jesus will return.


The belief in the end times that says the Gospel will so infiltrate the world that there will be a golden age of rule by the church for 1,000 years (millennial) after which Jesus will return.


The belief in many gods

pocasie non peccare

Latin meaning Possible not to sin. The state of mankind in the garden of Eden before the fall of man. This has been lost ever since.


A spiritual journey. Part of the medieval Roman Catholic piety and penance.


The theology that says progress in good works is more important than having a right understanding of doctrine.

Personal union

Union of the two natures of Christ.


Literally "50 days" (50 days after passover). This is the day which the apostles received the Holy Spirit with tongues of fire (Acts 2).


The belief that God is in everything.


"Right praise." Right doctrine. Someone who teaches according to the Scriptures.

Original Sin

Our inherited sin that manifests itself in actual sin.

Open Theism

The belief that says God is open to influence through the prayers, decisions, and actions of people.


The attribute of God that God knows all things.

Old Adam

Our sinful nature/sinful flesh which we inherit from our fathers; the part of us that lacks any fear, love and trust in God which clings with us until we die.

Nunc dimittis

"Now, dismiss." From the Song of Simeon: Lord, let now your servant depart in peace according to your Word.


The false teaching that Jesus existed as two persons, the man Jesus and the divine Son of God, rather than as a unified person. This doctrine is identified with Nestorius (c.386-451). This view of Christ was condemned at the Council of Ephesus in 431.


A connection with God apart from means. An immediate connection with God. A connection with God through the emotions.


The belief that the different persons of God are God switching among different modes. A heresy.

ministerium ecclesiasticum

Latin, "The Ministry of the Church," the ministry of the church set forth by our Lord to bestow His gifts of life and salvation through Word and Sacrament.


The belief that the millenium is a literal 1000 years established by the reign of Christ.


That which earns and brings with it merit

Means of Grace

The idea that God uses tangible material things to bestow His divine gifts. Mainly the bestowing of forgiveness of sins through His Word, Baptism and the Lord's Supper.

Marks of the Church

Phrase used to describe how we know where the church is. Things that create faith and trust in Christ. Word and Sacraments.


Refers to the wise men who came from the east to visit the incarnate Son of God upon His birth


One who believes what Lutheran doctrine is as defined by the Book of Concord. And also Pr Wolfmueller's definition - Those who believe in the simplicity of Christ according to the Scriptures.


To declare righteous. Article IV, Augsburg Confession.


The name of God the Son, meaning "He will save us from our sins."


From 2 Tim 3:16. The Lord Himself spoke the words of Scriptures; they proceed from the mouth of God.


Unable to err. Often used to describe the Scriptures.


The belief that the Son, second person of the Trinity,"became flesh" when he was miraculously conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary.


The attribute of God that says God does not change.


Referring to Christ's humiliation. He humbled himself and did not use his divine attributes at times.


"Same substance". Jesus is of one substance with the Father.


The study of how we read and study a text, especially Scripture.

Hapax legomenon

A word that only occurs once in the Bible.


In systematic theology, the doctrine of sin.

Growth in Doctrine

The belief that God continues to reveal and develop new doctrines in the church today.


"Good news" the Good News of Jesus shedding His blood for the forgiveness of sins.


The heresy that there is a distinction between the material and spiritual world. It teaches that the material world is bad and only the spiritual world is good.


Refers to when Christ was glorified upon his resurrection and ascended into heaven and sits in glory at the right hand of God. Those who have faith in Christ will be glorified on the last day.

Genus maiestaticum

The attributes of Christ's divine nature are ascribed and communicated to the human nature.


The Beginning. The Source.


Latin meaning "and the Son" referring to the Nicene Creed which says that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father "and the Son." Eastern Orthodox churches reject the Filioque.


God's gift given to us by His Word that receives the benefit of Christ's death on the cross. Namely, life, salvation and forgiveness.


To make satisfaction, appeasement or atonement.


Lit, "to draw out." In theology, means to draw the objective meaning of a text out of the Bible. (cf eisegesis)

Ex Nihilo

Out of Nothing, like how God created the Universe


The study of the end times.


Revealing. Term applied to the birth, Baptism, appearance of the star, and similar events in Christ's life. It is also applied to January 6, celebrated in commemoration of the visit of the Magi.


Before the creation of the world, the Lord chose whom he would save.


Lit, "to put in" In theology, to put one's one interpretation into the text apart from the objective meaning that text may have. (cf. exegesis)


The doctrine that says scripture does what it says it does.


The study of the Church.


Greek word meaning "slave" or "servant." A word Pastor Wolfmueller frequently mistranslates as "Vicar."


The theology that God interacts with man throughout time through different dispensations, e.g. Man under law, man under promise, man under grace, etc.


From Latin meaning "fixed to cross," an ancient method of painful execution in which the condemned person is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross and left to hang until dead. The method of death by which the Lord Jesus atoned for the sins of the whole world.


from Latin "credo" meaning "I believe." Creed is a profession of what an individual or church believes.


Sorrow for sin, repentance of sins.


The belief that the sacrament contains both bread and wine and Christ's body and blood. Allows for a 50/50 mixture of each, and Lutherans don't teach that.


Confession, Homologeō: Homo – Same, Logeo – Word/Saying, Same Saying


The tendency of our sinful nature toward sin. Considered by God to be sin.


The gift of our Lord Jesus to deliver life, salvation and forgiveness by His very body and blood in, with and under the bread and wine bestowed according to His command.


The teaching that the eating of Christ's body and blood in the Eucharist is cannibalistic.


The books of the Bible that are recognized by the church as inspired by God.


The collection of 66 books including the old and new testaments which are the inspired Word of God.


Latin, "Blessed", song of Zachariah found in Luke 1 after John the Baptist is born, sung in the order of Matins.


The blessings Jesus gives on the sermon on the mount.

Beatific Vision

The ultimate direct self-communication of God to the individual person. A person possessing the beatific vision reaches, as a member of redeemed humanity in the communion of saints, perfect salvation in its entirety, i.e. heaven. The notion of vision stresses the intellectual component of salvation, though it encompasses the whole of human experience of joy, happiness coming from seeing God finally face to face and not imperfectly through faith.

Baptismal regeneration

Through baptism the Lord regenerates us and gives us new birth.


The Lord's work, delivering to us the promise of the forgiveness of sins, adopting us into his family, calling us by His name, opening up the doors if heaven, forgiving us of our sins, giving us eternal life by water and the Word.


Lit, "to cover". God's wrath is covered by the blood of the sacrifice, esp. the blood of Christ.

Athanasian Creed

Not necessarily written by Athanasius of Alexandria, but named in his honor. The third of the three ecumenical creeds, typically confessed in liturgical churches on Holy Trinity Sunday.


40 days after the resurrection of Jesus, He ascends into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father.


The theological heresy that Jesus Christ is the first creation of God the Father. Named after a church priest, Arius (ca. AD 250–336).


Lit, those having been hidden away. Usually applied to the books that were considered by the Church as useful, but not divinely inspired.


Unveiling, From the veil, Revealing, Revelation


Literally, "no law." The heretical doctrine that Christians are exempt from the obligations of moral law.


Things contradicted or disputed. The books of the Bible that were not immediately accepted as Holy Scripture, e.g. Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, Jude.


From the Greek, literally "in the place of Christ." This is also is what is spoken of in 2 Thessalonians as "The Man of Lawlessness."


Greek word meaning accursed.


Following the Reformation of the 16th century, the group that rejected infant baptism.


The end times view that there is no literal thousand year reign of Christ, but that the thousand year reign of Christ begins at Christ's crucifixion until the day He returns in glory.

Agnus Dei

Lamb of God


Season of the church year which begins the church calendar, means "coming."


Our entrance into God's family, best seen in Romans 8:15.


Neither forbidden nor commanded in the Scriptures.


The remission of sins and the freeing of guilt. The pastor standing in the stead of Christ forgives sins.

-Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi