Be Prepared.

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,” (I Peter 3:15).

Not only are we to not fear, or be troubled, by those who would persecute us for being zealous for good and for God (I Peter 3:13-14), God also calls us to be prepared to share the gospel to those very same individuals. I Peter 3:15 provides believers with the foundational biblical text regarding the task and responsibility of biblical apologetics.

Apologetics addresses and answers any and all critics who oppose or question the revelation of God in Christ and the Bible. In short, it means to make a defense. The word apologetics is taken from I Peter 3:15 from the word defense (ἀπολογία; apologia). Rather than making an “apology” for biblical truth, the word means to speak on behalf of oneself or of others against accusations presumed to be false—‘to defend oneself. In this case, what the believer speaks on behalf of is the truth of Scripture in general, and the gospel in particular.

In preparing ourselves to defend the Scriptures, we in effect are honoring in our hearts Christ the Lord as holy. Our heart (καρδία; kardia) is our intellect, emotions and will, or our soul. It is the core of who we are. With all of our being, God commands us to honor Jesus. To honor (ἁγιάζω; hagiazo) means to hallow or to consecrate Jesus Christ as the holy God He is (Isaiah 6; I Peter 1:16).

One way to prepare our hearts to defend the Scriptures is by never forgetting what the Scriptures teach regarding God’s holiness. Reading and meditating upon Isaiah 6 is one way. Singing hymns regarding the holiness of God is another, such as the following by Reginald Heber.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Soli deo Gloria!


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