“But set apart the Messiah as Lord in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the holy that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15)
An incredulous world hears the claims of the gospel and may ask, “Why on earth would anyone believe that?” It can get personal, “Why do YOU believe that?” Well, it’s a fair question isn’t it? And it deserves an answer.
Faith is not mindless. It is a response to information presented. It understands the information, processes it, and then decides to accept and believe it. We believe the claims of the gospel of Jesus simply because we have decided that it is the truth.
Still the world wants to know why we believe it, and Peter’s admonition to us regarding this is to always be prepared to give a “defense” for the hope that is in us. The word defense literally means “apology.” We do not apologize for what we believe, of course, but the real meaning of the word is “to give an explanation defending an idea.” Peter wants us to be ready at any time to provide people with an explanation for the hope that we have in Christ for forgiveness and eternal life. We have this hope because we believe that Jesus was the fulfillment of centuries-old prophecies. We have this hope because human sin and depravity demand some kind of atonement. We have this hope because all the universe around us testifies that there is a God. We have this hope because the Bible teaches us how the Creator God worked His plan to bring us to redemption. We have this hope because something within us whispers, “It is true.”
Peter gives some qualification to his admonition. As we approach people who have this question, we are to deal with this not aggressively but with gentleness and respect, ensuring that we present the truth of the gospel with a clear conscience.
Lord, May we be prepared by Your Spirit to give a full explanation about why we believe what we believe, anytime we are asked. Amen.