If you know me, you know that I like words. I like ones that you can find in the dictionary, and I like to
make up some of my own when there just doesn’t seem to be one that adequately expresses the
point I’m trying to make. I’d like to share some of those words that I’ve made up over the years while
preaching and teaching the Bible. I’ve also included some of the definitions that I’ve come up with
for biblical themes along with a few of the expressions that I’ve used over the years to explain
certain theological concepts as I see them. These are all original with me. If you’ve read or heard
similar thoughts, either I heard it somewhere too and simply forgot hearing it, someone heard me
say it and started using it (which is not very likely), or we are reading the same Bible under the
influence of the same Spirit and came up with the same way to say it.
Words that I made up
I think that just about everyone who regularly speaks publicly makes up words to express where
regular words just don’t seem to suffice. I, for one, like creating my own terms – if indeed I feel that
they more adequately communicate some life-giving truth. Sometimes people don’t know what to
make of it, and figure I just misspoke. For instance, I once said in a message that “Jesus wants to
make us weller.” A woman who was visiting that Sunday approached me after the service to inform
me that “weller” wasn’t a word in the English language. I responded with, “Well-er, I appreciate you
bringing that to my attention!” Anyway, here are a few of my made-up wigetisms.
P.S. Again addressing those who know me – my mind went kinda blank (I know “kinda” isn’t a real
word, though not a true “wigetism,” since I didn’t make it up). I could only think of a few. If you
remember any others from enduring years of listening to me, please contact me to remind me of
them. I’ll add them to the list.
Rather than learn how to do a bunch of Christian things, we should learn how to do all things
Chrisitanly. I’ve always loved this word and the statement that goes with it. Many people think
Christianity is simply doing “Christian things” (reading the Bible, praying, going to church, tithing,
witnessing). Don’t get me wrong. Those are all good things to do. But what I believe Jesus wants us
to do is do everything Christianly. We should do our jobs Christianly, our families Christianly, our
relationships Christianly, our school work Christianly… Anyone can do Christian things – even non-
christians. But only real Christians can do all of life Christianly.
Attitudes + Actions = ACTitudes. An ACTitude is an attitude that leads to an action. Get it?
ACTitude! As Christians, we’re commanded to practice both attitudes and actions; and it’s my
experience that right attitudes tend to lead to better actions. It’s unwise to separate attitude from
action. Cultivate a Christlike attitude and godly actions will almost certainly follow. By the way,
maybe the Latins knew this, for the term in Spanish for attitude is “actitud.” Actually, that’s where I
got the idea.
I made use of the sort of familiar term, integrated to describe our goal to be like Jesus. I know it’s
kind of a strange word to use for a spiritual value, but follow me here. According to Webster,
“integrated” means to be “coordinated or blended into a functioning or unified whole.” Does that
sound like something you’d like to see in your own life? In the bigger picture, that's what it means to
be saved. I’m talking about our "parts" (that is, our spirit, soul and body) working together instead
of against each other. I wrote a paper on this called, “How To Get Integrated.” It’s taken from
Romans 6, 7 and 8.
This is another way to express Jesus in us living his life through us. You get it right? Living for
Jesus is from the inside where he lives, and gets expressed on the outside where we live. It reminds
me of a story of a little girl who asked her mom, “Doesn’t God live inside us?” Yes, dear. “Isn’t God
bigger than us?” Right again, sweetheart. “Then wouldn’t He show through?”
The Divine Dilemma (God’s Ethical Problem)
Though it’s not exactly theologically accurate to imply that God has (or ever has had) a “problem,” I
want to challenge you to think in terms of a “Divine Dilemma” that He had in relation to forgiving the
guilty without compromising His justice. The Bible is clear that God is a “just” God (Psalm 89:14;
Revelation 5:16; 2 Timothy 4:8; Daniel 9:14). And since He’s perfect in character, His nature
requires consistency within Himself. He never wavers between right and wrong. A.W. Tozer wrote,
“All of God does all that God does.” In other words, His attributes are never at war within Him. He
will never contradict any of His perfections. He’s never at odds with Himself.
Here’s where the “problem” arises. Being as committed to His justice as He is to His mercy, in order
to forgive and justify the guilty He must do justice to His justice. That’s the ethical impasse. How can
He do both (justice and mercy) at the same time? He must find a way to justify us and Himself
concurrently. It’s a “Dilemma”!
God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to
demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand
unpunished – he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one
who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Romans 3:25-26
Definitions of biblical terms
It's not like the Bible Dictionaries (and there are a ton of them) are inadequate. They are all written
by people much more scholarly than I. But when preparing for and delivering biblical talks over the
years (some people call 'em sermons, though I've never much like that term) I've sort of come up
with ways of defining complex theological concepts that at least make sense to me. My hope has
always been that these might connect people with truth that they already knew but didn't know how
to say it.
Justification – God’s righteous way of righteoussing the unrighteous with his
I realize that “righteoussing” isn’t a real word, and would fall under the category of a Wigetism by
itself. But please get over that, and think through this definition. This term, “justification,” is one of
the Bible’s most important.
God’s righteous way of righteoussing the unrighteous with his righteousness. God always does
things right because he is righteous. That is, he is right, and is the standard of all that is right. So,
when he’s saving us, he does it right and righteously. It’s the right way to be right with the right God.
His righteousness is that righteousness which His righteousness requires Him to require. (Oh man,
we are deep in the Land of Wiget now!)
God’s righteous way of righteoussing the unrighteous with his righteousness. This “righteoussing
the unrighteous,” is usually expressed in other terms – like, imputing righteousness to… Essentially,
it means that God counts us, treats us, looks at us as “righteous.”
God’s righteous way of righteoussing the unrighteous with his righteousness. In other words, the
righteousness that His righteousness requires Him to require is the same righteousness that he
gives us. “He made Christ to be sin for us that we might be the righteousness of God in him.” (2
Sanctification – the progressive utilization of the divine nature imparted at new
There are many aspects of sanctification. This one aspect, the gradual becoming more like Jesus in
our daily lives aspect is what this definition applies to. I’m fond of this way to define it because it
emphasizes that we will become more like Jesus as we gradually take more and more advantage of
the impartation of his life in our spirits. This leads to my definition of the Christian life…
The Christian Life – is the life He (Jesus) lived then (when he was here) lived now
by him in you.
I might have adapted this from another author at some point. But since I can’t remember who, I’ll
claim it as original unless proven guilty of stealing it. Nevertheless I really like this definition of what
living for Jesus is about. It’s him in us generating the power to change. See the phrase below,
“Inside-Out Living.” It carries the same meaning. It’s what Paul said in Philippians, “Work out your
won salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both the desire and the power
to do his will.” He put it (the power) on the INSIDE of us, and we get it OUTSIDE in the way we live
The Gift of Faith – the sudden surge of supernatural certainty for a certain situation.
This is one of my favorites, simply because it’s fun to say. But beyond that, I like it because it
distinguishes this special “gift” of faith (1 Corinthians 12) from other facets of faith. There’s saving
faith, daily faith, and this gift of faith. It is different, in that it doesn’t necessarily last forever, it’s a
“sudden surge” of faith. And it’s for a certain situation, not necessarily for every situation.
Grace – is not permission to be mediocre, but the power to be great.
OK, so there are tons of definitions of Grace. I’ve always found the old standby one, “God’s
undeserved favor,” very lacking. It’s true as far as it goes. But that’s like saying I went to Hawaii
yesterday when all you did was swim 100 yards in that direction. I like (my friends know this is true)
acrostics and acronyms. These are lists, the first letters of which, are either the same or spell other
things out. I really don’t know the difference between acrostic and acronym. I read the dictionary
definitions, and didn’t understand the dictionary. Maybe that’s why I make up words and my own
definitions for things, because I don’t understand Webster.
Anyway, I’ve heard (so these are not original with me) three definitions of grace using the letters of
the word. The first is: God Reaching Out And Calling Everyone. Then there’s: God’s Riches At
Christ’s Expense. I like this one, but I like the next one even better: God’s Righteousness And
Corresponding Enablement. I’m especially fond of the word, “enablement” in this definition (whether
it’s an acrostic or acronym). This is what is often missing in our understanding of grace, that it’s not
merely a posture that God takes toward us (although it does include that). It is a power, an
enablement from God to be different.
So back to my statement: “Grace is not the permission to be mediocre, but the power to be great!”
It seems to me that the other more limited way of viewing grace (as “favor”), focuses on the
forgiveness part of the good news and gives the impression of a permission to be a mediocre
person. It almost encourages a sort of: C-minus Christianity. But if you’ll follow the term grace
throughout the New Testament you’ll find that it is both a power to free us from sin’s penalty AND
sin’s power. It forgives and empowers. It cleanses and enables.
Sin, Satan, and the System
You’ve undoubtedly heard of what it is that opposes us as Christians – the unholy trinity of the
world, the flesh and the devil . That’s right, our enemy is a trinity. Not THE Trinity, but A trinity. I’ve
always thought that the words, “world” and “flesh” were sort of vague. Plus, I like it when we can
make a list where all of the words start with the same letter (is that an acrostic or an acronym?). So I
came up with: Sin, Satan, and the System.
Sin, of course, is our inclination toward self. We’re self-centered, self-consumed, and selfish. That’s
really the big kahuna in this trinity.
The System is the way we humans think and act without Christ at our center. It’s everything that
refuses to bow to Jesus. John can help us understand this better:
Do not love the world (the system) or anything in the world (the system). If anyone loves the world
(the system), the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world (the system) —the
cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not
from the Father but from the world (the system). The world (the system) and its desires pass away,
but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:15-17
Satan is the one who appeals to the sin within us through the medium of the system around us. He
uses the system as his lure, at which our sinfulness is all too willing to bite. Satan is a great
salesman. He gets us to buy something bad for us at a price we can’t afford!
Accountability is people helping other people to be better people.
I don’t know if that requires much explanation. But suffice it to say, this is very much a biblical value.
We need each other to help each other be like Jesus. One of my favorite verses in the Bible on this
topic is where Jonathan “helped David find strength in God.” He didn’t become David’s strength. He
didn’t give him strength. He led his friend to the source of strength, he helped him find it in God!
Lord, give us friends who will do just that for us and help us be friends who will do that for others!
Intimacy is real people being real with other real people.
Someone else defined “intimacy” as, “Into me you see.” Get it? If not, say, “Into me you see,” out
loud. One of the bad raps that Christians get (and rightly so) is that we’re not very real. We’re
disingenuous. We live on the surface and don’t want people getting a look at anything deeper than
the façade. But it seems that God does want us to go deeper with one another and he presents it as
actually a healthy thing. It looks like it’s part of what we were made to do – be intimate with others,
real with them; open. I think this must have been in John’s mind (the Apostle of love, the one who
laid his head on Jesus’ chest in the upper room) when he wrote, “If we walk in the light as he is in
the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin.”
God’s glory is the essence of God’s nature, the weight of His importance, the
radiance of His splendor, the atmosphere of His presence - the expression of all
that He is.
The glory of God. As I recall, this definition is a compellation of my studies of the concept of God’s
“glory” throughout Scripture. Speaking of this study, I heartily recommend that you do a study on the
word, “glory” in the Bible. It’s one of those words that I think we use without having much of a clue
about its meaning.
If you find the following definition, or a very similar phrasing somewhere, I stand corrected and
convicted as a definition-thief. But I do think this is original with me.
Fellowship is living together in the enjoyment of God.
(Again, I don’t believe that I stole this from someone else, but apologize if I did. Either way, I think it’s
a great definition of fellowship, don’t you?)
Like most biblical concepts, “faith” is many sided. You can’t say about faith, “It is this one thing.” I’ve
heard many worthy definitions of its many facets. For instance, I’m particularly fond of this one:
“Faith is the spontaneous reaction to the faithfulness of God.” I don’t remember where I heard it, but
I like it because it points out that faith is rooted in God and his character. It’s not something that I
have to create or conjure. God is faithful, that makes it easier for me to have faith in him. He is
trustworthy (worthy of my trust), therefore I can trust him.
There’s also this definition of faith that I heard from Roy Hicks Jr., who was both a great man of faith
and a great preacher, “Faith is the aggressive cooperation with the promises of God.” This definition
expresses more the aspect of faith that goes out and gets something from God. It’s not simply a
passive trust. It can, at times, be a very active and assertive thing.
But, in addition to these, and many others, I like this one that I sort of adapted from an illustration
from Spurgeon: “Faith is the aqueduct through which we tap the reservoir of His grace.” Spurgeon
painted a picture of how God creates an enormous reservoir of salvation, healing, and wholeness
for us. He gives it all to us freely. But the way that we access it is through an aqueduct called, faith.
His provision is there, and you are here. How will you get the provision to you so that you can
benefit from it? You have to dig a ditch, a canal, an aqueduct between you and the reservoir. That’s
faith. The thing that we do (with God’s help) that connects us with all of his blessings. It’s the
aqueduct through which we tap the reservoir of His grace!
Another way to say things that you probably already believe
Here we have expressions that I feel God gave me over the years to express biblical realities in a
wigetistic way. None of these truths are new to the seasoned follower of Jesus. But maybe they’ll
help you know a little better about what you know.
Our greatest pleasure is the pleasure of pleasing God.
God was pleased to create us in such a way as to receive our greatest pleasure in pleasing him.
The glory of God and good of people…
This is what I try (and fail miserably at) to live by. This is merely another way to say what Jesus told
us was the bottom-line of life: Love God and love people. That’s it. How could it simpler, yet more
difficult to do? We’re to live for the glory of God (see my definition of glory above) and for the good
of people. God help us!
God-Centered and People-Oriented
This is very much akin to the “glory of God and good of people.” I think the Lord gave this one to me
as a sort of motto for one of our churches. It’s more of a statement of a corporate priority. I like it
because it puts first-things-first, and second-things-second, with everything else following. Notice
that it’s “GOD-Centered and PEOPLE-Oriented.” You don’t want those switched – God-oriented
and people-centered. A lot of churches are like that. They are simply oriented around God but
centered on people. In other words, the needs and desires of people trump the requirements of
God. But God must be at our center. And then, though we shouldn’t put people at the center, we
must be people-oriented. That is, we can’t forget that the church is people, not programs, not
precepts, not budgets, bureaucracies, or buildings. While we must be centered on God, we must
also be oriented to people.
Admit, Believe, and Commit.
To me, these words summarize in the best possible way how we access the grace of God for
salvation. I absolutely wore our churches out with this almost every Sunday. I not only wanted pre-
christians to know what to do to become Christians. I also wanted our Christians to know how to
share with pre-christians about how to become Christians!
So here’s how it goes. We have Admit that we’re messed up without God. We need him, and in
order to get him, we have to admit that we need him and are lost without him. We also have to
Believe in him - believe that he is, that he came, that he died and rose, and that he truly wants to
make us his sons and daughters. Lastly, we have to Commit everything we are and everything we
have to him. The Bible term for this is repent, which means to turn around, turn from our sin, and
turn to him for salvation. And it’s as simple as A.B.C.
At his Beck and Call
This is my second A.B.C. acrostic. Once you become a Christian by Admitting, Believing, and
Committing, you’ll want to live constantly At his Beck and Call. The word, “beck” is kind of
interesting. It means to motion for someone to do something (usually to come to the one “becking” -
probably more accurately “beckoning”) be it ever so subtle a motion. It could be a slight hand
movement or an eyebrow lifted. It’s usually done by someone in a place of authority or responsibility
over the one being “becked” (beckoned). I like this because it describes the kind of relationship I
want to have with Jesus, whereby he may subtly motion for me to come or to go. And, ideally, I do it!
I want to constantly be At his Beck and Call. You too?
Good spiritual leaders lead by leading.
What I mean by this primarily is that the spiritual leader must first be led (by the Holy Spirit) in order
to lead others. The leader isn’t making up the goal, the path, the way as he goes. He’s listening to
the subtle leading (the “beckoning” see above) of the Lord, and then trying to lead people in light of
the leading he’s getting from the Lord. He/she leads by leading. Lead me, Lord about how to lead
Christianity is not a guilt-ridden religion, but the only way to get rid of your guilt.
I think, to the pre-christian, one of the most common misconceptions of Christianity is that it is a
religion that piles on guilt in order to control people. It can seem like a religion of rules and
regulations designed to weigh people down – a guilt-ridden religion. But in reality, the opposite is
the truth. Coming into vital relationship with Jesus, who died with our guilt on his shoulders, is the
only way to rid yourself of your guilt. Guilt isn’t given in Christianity, it’s acknowledged and relieved.
We who know Jesus are not guilt-ridden, instead we are rid of our guilt. Thank you, Jesus!
Thus concludes (for now) our wigetisms...