Words Have Meaning (Romans 5:9-10)
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. —Romans 5:9-10
Winterfield Elementary School. Mrs. Wright. Miss Hunt. Ms. Stoer. Mrs. Hawkins. Spelling class. Week after week. Year after year. List after list. Learn words. Spell words. Define words. Use words in a sentence. Start over again. And again. And again.
Every list was a chore at the time, every weekly test a grueling challenge. But every list was a key, a key to culture, a key to ideas, a key to understanding, a key to purpose, expression, participation, place, and role. Oh, the doors to imagination and experience those keys unlocked!
We may have passed the stage of learning spelling lists of words years ago, but there are some vocabulary words whose definitions hold eternal value and whose potential is priceless. Do you know the meaning of these words? Can you pronounce them? Can you use them in a sentence? Can you explain them in such a way that others understand and own them?
Salvation: The condition of spiritual newness wrought entirely by God through Jesus Christ which I experience personally by faith.
Justification: The legal acquittal God attributes to me, a sinner worthy of infinite judgment, when I accept by faith the death of Jesus Christ in my place.
Propitiation: The infinite sufficiency of Jesus Christ’s holy and blameless life and death to serve as an acceptable sacrifice to cover the infinite offense of my sin against an infinitely holy God.
Reconciliation: The act of love by which God restores a guilty sinner to fellowship with Himself upon condition of faith in Jesus Christ.
Sanctification: The lifelong work of the Holy Spirit to expand the implications of all the above into every nook and cranny of the heart and life of the believer in preparation for dwelling eternally in the Presence of God’s glory.
Some words fall out of use over time and are left off the lists we learn. Some words, however, should be learned “by heart” and never forgotten. Some words deserve to find their way into our souls and onto our lips. Words like atonement, redemption, and glorification deserve to find more important roles in life than the triple word square in Words with Friends.
Each of these words points us to the “much more” of grace: the infinite measure beyond what we might expect or imagine that God does to demonstrate the fullness of His glory and the depth of His love. Words like these deserve close attention.