Defending the Faith
1 Peter 3:13-16
Knowing God’s Word and understanding what we believe are essential for growth in Christ and protection from deception. However, these alone aren’t the final goal. We are not left on earth merely to know for ourselves what God has said. Rather, we’re to share His good news. In other words, we’re to be “ready to make a defense to everyone who asks [us] to give an account for the hope that is in [us]” (1 Peter 3:15).
The word defense means “an answer one gives to explain himself.” Believers should be ready to give an account of their motives and reasons for holding on to their hope in Christ. Because of busy lifestyles, many Christians have never taken the time to really think through their views and beliefs. When someone challenges them, they feel a sense of panic because they’re totally unprepared.
Giving an account for our faith must be accompanied by a gentle, respectful delivery. Aggressively dumping a load of truth on a questioning person rarely leads him to God, but a gentle answer opens hearts as well as ears.
And remember, people watch to see if all we profess is backed up with a life of integrity. A Christian who is living a hypocritical lifestyle will have a worthless testimony.
These verses were not written to scholars; they were intended for ordinary people with jobs and families. The task isn’t impossible, yet it requires time spent reading and studying God’s Word. In setting Christ apart as the Lord of your heart, you will find that time with Him becomes a joy, not a sacrifice.
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