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Could You Give A Defense?

Could You Give a Defense?

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; 1 Peter 3:15 (NKJV)

I want to ask you a pointed question today, and it will be one that only you can answer, and it wont be by just your words either.  I am not pointing a finger, nor am I insinuating anything other than attempting to get you to think and identify with something that is very important to all of us as Christian individuals.  I am asking this question of myself as well.  I want you to ask yourself:

Q:    Who is Jesus to me?

I can only imagine the variety of emotions, ideas, and answers that are flooding the brains of all who read this at this point.  I didn't ask this to start any theological debate or to even suggest that He isn't real to you.  What I asked this question for is so that you would think deeply today about who Jesus Christ is to you--personally!

We've done devotionals on Jesus being the Son of God, The Savior, God in the Flesh, One-third of the Trinity, The Lord, Etc.  And He is all of these and more, but that still cannot fully answer the question that is being asked of you today.

1 Peter 3:15 tells us as believers to "Sanctify" the Lord God in our hearts.  

Q:    What does it mean to Sanctify?

A:    It comes from the Greek word "Hagiazo" pronounced, hag-ee-ad´-zo; which means: to "Set Apart," or "Make Holy."  And for this particular scripture it means that we are to give Christ a place of "Respect" and "Worship." 

So, as we "Set Apart" Jesus in our heart we acknowledge his Lordship of our lives.

Next, we are told to "Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you."  The Greek term used for defense here is "Apologia" and its where we get our English word, "Apology," and the term, "Apologetics."  This is usually used in the context of a formal defense.  We are also told that we should "Always" be ready.

So then, we should always be ready to defend the reason for our hope in Jesus Christ.

Q:    How do we defend our hope?  
A:    Well first of all, we give the scriptural defense of our "Hope" which is the Gospel message given to us within the Holy Bible.  The following scriptures contain that "Hope," and how we can obtain it as well.

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 1Corinthians 15:1-5 (NKJV)

But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame. Romans 10:8-11 (NKJV)

So we have a scriptural defense for our hope now, but the greatest defense is still to come, and that is your personal testimony.  That's right!  Our greatest defense of the Gospel is not theological--it's personal.  We get to share our spiritual hope with others.  Mine goes something like this:

I came to the conclusion one day that I was essentially empty, and I lacked hope.  I had a feeling of being alone, and guilt filled my mind because I knew that I was a sinner.  When I thought about it, it would only lead to anxiety.  I was given the Gospel message and I learned of what Jesus did for me on that Cross of Calvary.  I accepted Him as my personal Lord and Savior, and immediately the guilt and anxiety went away.   Jesus has completely changed my life, as I have an incredible peace now, and I look forward to seeing Him.

Hey maybe this is similar to your story as well.  Maybe you can't explain it theologically, but you can sure tell others about the way you used to be, and how you are now with Christ in your life--that my friends is giving a defense for our hope in Christ.

I want to challenge you to think about this today, and maybe even write out how Christ has changed your life--before and after testimonies.  Keep reading your bible, and be looking for the scriptures that offer eternal hope to those who don't know Jesus yet, and you will be prepared to give a defense for your hope at any time needed.

STUDY QUESTION: What is the Gospel message according to the scriptures contained within this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you prepared to give a defense for the hope that is in you if someone should ask today?

APPLICATION: Think about the scriptures contained within this devotional, and your history before you accepted Jesus as Lord, and Savior, and the changes that occurred after as well.

Father, Thank You for saving me.  Thank You for changing my life, and transforming me from the person I was.  I pray that You would continue to allow me to see things in the way You do Lord, so that I can make wise choices.  I pray for Your continued wisdom and discernment.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000