Sabbath: the seventh day, appointed by God as a day of rest [Exodus 20:8-11]; a reminder to Israel that they were his people by his action, not theirs [Exodus 31:13; Ezekiel 20:12]. A ‘shadow’ pointing to Jesus Christ, the One in whom real spiritual rest is found [Colossians 2:16,17; Hebrews 3 & 4].
Sacrifice: An offering made to God, most commonly involving death. Sometimes referred to other offerings, and also to attitudes that honour God [for example, thanksgiving, humility].
Saint: [Greek: hagios – holy]. One who has been set apart by God for God. In the New Testament ‘saints’ is used to refer to a group of Christians.
Salvation: A word used to refer to one, more or all of the results of the substitutionary, sacrificial death of Christ, received at the point of repentance and faith. The state of being saved.
Samaritan: A resident of Samaria, usually of mixed Jewish and Gentile heritage. Despised by Jews of the New Testament era. Accepted only the first five books of the Bible.
Sanctify: to set apart for God. Same root word as ‘holy’.
Sanctification [positional]: God’s action in which he sets a person apart for himself; God’s action in which he declares a person ‘holy’ – his own possession. Part of the salvation package purchased by Christ. [1 Corinthians 1:30; Colossians 1:22; Hebrews 10:10].
Sanctification [progressive]: the progressive result of the work of the Holy Spirit within the believer in which he gradually transforms the believer more and more into the likeness of Jesus Christ [2 Corinthians 3:18].
Sanctity of life: The unique value of human life. This value is dependent on creation in the image of God, and expressed in the high cost expended by God for human salvation.
Satan: The devil. A created being.
Satanism: worship of Satan [also, the organized ‘religion’ called ‘Satanism’].
Save: Rescue. Deliver. Spiritually – to rescue from sin and its judgment.
Saviour: the One who rescues us from spiritual death and destruction.
Scape-goat: One who bears the blame for another. On the day of Atonement [Lev 16], as well as the sacrifice of one goat, there was another goat, called the scapegoat, over which the sins of the nation were confessed, and which was then taken far away. Christ is the reality portrayed by both goats.
Schism: a split or division in a denomination.
Second blessing: An experience distinct from and subsequent to repentance and faith in Christ, in which a believer is ‘baptised in or with the Spirit’. Taught in some sections of evangelical Christianity long before the modern Pentecostal or charismatic movements. A controversial teaching.
Seraphim: Heavenly creatures mentioned only in Isaiah 6.
Sheol: Realm of the dead [Old Testament word]
Signs and wonders: Miraculous actions or occurrences performed by a person. The miracles of Christ were ‘signs’ of his deity. The miracles performed by the apostles authenticated their message. False prophets/teachers perform deceptive signs and wonders; we are warned against them.
Simul justus et peccator: at the same time justified and a sinner. A description of believers expressed by Martin Luther. Rejected by Charles Finney, but generally held as a key concept in justification by faith by Christians who understand the doctrines of grace.
Sin: The fundamental sin in the sin of rejecting God. Sins are thoughts, attitudes, words and actions which express this fundamental sin of rejecting God and his authority.
Sinner: A person who sins. [See previous entry.]
Slain in the Spirit: a term referring to the practice in which people touched by a preacher fall backwards to the floor, often in a trance, sometimes with physical movements or sounds. Neither the term nor the practice is found in the Scripture. Similar to the shakti pat of guru worship.
Social gospel: Applying the love of Christ to the needs of humanity, usually without the proclamation of the gospel message of spiritual salvation through the death of Christ.
Soteriology: the study of salvation
Soul: There is significant debate about the meaning of the term ‘soul’. The most common use in the Bible is the meaning ‘self’ or ‘person’. Sometimes used as a parallel to ‘heart’, ‘spirit’ and ‘life’.
Soul sleep: : Taught by some cults: a state of the dead between death and the judgment.
Speaking in tongues: Miraculously speaking a human language not previously learned. [Acts 2, 10 & 19, and 1 Corinthians 12-14.] : In some contemporary Christianity it is understood to mean speaking in non-human languages.  Sometimes seen as necessary evidence of salvation.
Spirit: the aspect of human life that died immediately the first sin severed man from God, and that is regenerated by the Holy Spirit at the point of faith in Christ.
Spirits: created beings, some good [usually thought to be the good angels], some rebellious [the evil spirits, fallen angels].
Spiritual mapping: Practised in some Christian circles prior to evangelizing an area, to determine the spiritual condition of the churches, what sins dominate, what demonic activity occurs, and what ‘territorial spirits’ are in charge. Precursor to prayer prior to evangelism. Not found in scripture.
Subjective [subjectivism]: Interpreting life and reality, including the scriptures, from a personal viewpoint.
Substitutionary atonement: Christ’s death in our place to take the punishment/penalty for our sins.
Suffering: entered the world because of sin [Genesis 3]; sometimes a tool of God’s judgment in the lives of the godless; used by God to refine those who belong to him. There is no automatic connection between personal suffering and God’s judgment. Revelation 21:4 promises the end of suffering.