“But in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” – 1 Peter 3:15
I have always heard 1 Peter 3:15 quoted by apologists. If You are not familiar with that word, an apologist is someone who studies in order to give an organized, rational, evidence-based, intellectual argument to defend the Christian faith. These men and women play an important role in furthering the Gospel, and it is amazing to listen to someone who excels in this discipline. However, because this verse is the battle cry of the apologist, it is easy for the rest of us to be intimidated or maybe even discouraged because we are not experts in apologetics. And because of that, we often think, “this verse doesn’t really apply to me.”
But I want you consider this today; 1 Peter 3:15 is about much more than apologetics. Even though a rational defense of Christianity is an important part of being a believer, it has been my experience in ministry that few have put their faith in Christ because of a great intellectual argument. Instead, most put their faith in Jesus because they have heard the testimony of a follower of Jesus. Giving a reason for the hope that is in you includes more than apologetics; it includes testimony of how your life has changed, stories of the miracles you have seen, sharing how reading the Bible revealed to you the deep truths you had been searching for, and the peace that passes understanding which is displayed in your life. These methods can also help keep us from becoming confrontational, leading us into a much more natural obedience to the following verse: “Yet do this with gentleness and reverence…”
Heavenly Father, equip us with a very clear explanation for the hope we have in Jesus Christ. Give us the passion and courage to share that hope with everyone around us. And as we do, convict us to go about it with gentleness for all and reverence for the One who changed our life and our eternity.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Shane Cannon