Vocabulary and Communication
Concepts or understandings are mostly communicated through the use of words, and they are effective when the parties communicating have common definitions of those words. This goes for all sorts of people within their disciplines. For example, astronomers use their specialist vocabulary and medical practitioners use theirs. Neither fully understands the other, because they do not have common vocabularies. Likewise those who are not familiar with biblical terminology have difficulty in appreciating what Christians say about the Bible and its message.*
To this end, the Christian apologist has to explain the meanings of certain words such as: ‘redemption’, ‘justification’ and ‘sanctification’. This can be quite difficult, because a good many biblical words have different meanings according to their contexts. Biblical dictionaries are helpful, since they compare words that have similar or identical meanings, both in the Old and New Testaments.The former Testament was mainly written in Hebrew, and the latter in Greek and their vocabularies have to be cross-referenced.
The Meaning of the Word ‘Relaxing’
There are certain everyday words we use that are not found in the Bible, and one such word is ‘relaxing’. How is the word defined? It is ‘to make less tense or firm’. An example could be that of two wrestlers; one has the other in a head lock, and when the restrained wrestler acknowledges defeat, the other loosens his hold. He no longer needs to apply force. Victorious, he relaxes, both physically and mentally.
Another meaning of the word is, ‘to make less strict or severe’. You can imagine a scenario where a teacher severely punishes a pupil for bad behaviour. Afterwards the child behaves himself and their relationship improves. The pupil cooperates and respects his teacher. With the improved atmosphere there is less stress, less tension and a sense of relief. Both the pupil and the teacher are more relaxed.
Relaxing in Jesus
As stated above, the word ‘relaxing’ is not found in the Bible, but it can be equated with *’resting’, as described in Hebrews 4:1-10.
There is no better experience for a Christian than to ‘rest’ in Jesus. He does this, since he knows he has been forgiven his sins (Luke 5:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:9), and he has been accepted by Jesus (Ephesians 1:6), who makes him one of His chosen ones (1 Peter 2:4; Revelation 17:14). This is a Christian’s reality, and there is nothing more comforting, lovely, wonderful, edifying or satisfying – the superlatives go on, and on, and on!
To be ‘in’ Jesus is to ‘relax’ in Him. When you wake up in the morning you know you are in Him. With this knowledge and reassurance you are totally relaxed. You are grateful and thankful for His mapping out of the day ahead (Ephesians 2:10); for it is for your good. Here’s what the apostle Paul said about that confidence: ’And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).’
With that state of mind – one of belief, faith and trust – the Christian can truly ‘relax’ in Jesus. He knows there is ‘no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1),’ who says, ‘“Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, For My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).”’
*The Message of the Bible
**Christian Sabbath? [Christian Rest?]