How can we best DEFEND our FAITH before OTHERS?
December 19 Bible Reading: 1 Peter Chapters 1-3
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience..." (1 Peter 3:15-16)
Through the above passage, Apostle Peter tells us clearly how we can best defend our faith before a skeptical generation who asks us ‘why we believe what we believe’. In other words, we have to be always ready to give an apologetic answer defending our Christian faith and our blessed hope in Jesus Christ.
In order to prepare ourselves with the best defense of the Christian faith, first of all, we should “sanctify the Lord God in our hearts” (v. 15a). To “sanctify” means “to set apart.” So, we should set apart Christ as the Lord and Ruler of our lives. When we surrender ourselves under His control, then only we will experience true freedom. When we yield the throne in our heart to Jesus, it is then only that he will rule over us. All we do and say should be in His will, for His pleasure, and for His glory. He will then guide us through any difficult interrogation to give profound, thoughtful answers to difficult questions that are bombarded at us.
Our Christian faith should thus be defended by a reasonable apologetic delivered with meekness and fear. We should give our testimony with meekness (humility) toward others and with fear (reverence) toward God for what He has done. In making this assertion, Apostle Peter has quoted from Isaiah 8:12, 13, which says: “Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.” So, we should reverence Jesus Christ by making Him the Sovereign Lord of our lives. When we are sensitive to His presence in our hearts, we are bold and inspired to witness with skill and authority.
So, rather than being fearful we should commit ourselves afresh to Christ our Lord by purposing to live for Him, and be ready to explain to others gently and reverently why we behave as we do. Readiness to confess Christ is an important aspect of setting apart Christ as our Lord, so we should always be prepared to explain the difference that He has made in our lives. We should always have a good conscience, which will make us bold in defending ourselves and our faith in Christ.
Last but not the least, Jesus has promised us that he will give us the right words and profound wisdom that no one can resist - as in the case of Stephen, the first martyr of Christendom: "And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke" (Acts 6:10). Fear not, God will enlighten us with the right words so that we can best defend our faith before others!