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Giving a Defense

I Peter 3:13 “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”
When Peter wrote the book of I Peter, he was addressing a group of Churches that were filled with believers who were suffering for their faith. It was written in the late 60’s of the first century, a time when the Emperor Nero would use Christians in his sporting events to amuse the crowds. They would be burned alive, tortured, and thrown to wild animals all for their faith. Yet throughout this letter, rather than asking the Christians to rebel in defiance, he was encouraging them to stand firm in their faith.
In 2 Peter 3:15 the people of God were being encouraged, in the face of difficult circumstances, to “…always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” This was an exhortation for Christian believers to never allow their difficult circumstances to prevent them from defending the hope and life and salvation that God has provided in Christ. The Christians were being called to press on for the glory of God through pain and trials.
Although most believers in America cannot identify with the Christian persecution that this original audience was facing, there is a phrase that we all need to take very seriously. You and I are being exhorted in this passage to “…always be prepared to make a defense.” (I Peter 3:15) There should never be a time, regardless of our circumstances, that we aren’t ready and willing to proclaim and defend the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to be in the Word of God daily, not only for our own sanctification, but so that we will be prepared at all times to engage in Gospel conversations . We should be so steeped in the “living and active” Word of God that Christ centered conversations flow from our lips just as easily as conversations about ourselves.
So how do you position yourself spiritually for such a commission? Peter outlined the mindset that always precedes the lives of those that want to be bold witnesses for Christ in I Peter 1:13, saying “…therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Ask God today, through the study of His word, to prepare you for action.

 

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