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).
As we set about to honor in our hearts Christ the Lord as holy, and always being prepared to make a defense of the gospel, to whom are we engaging with our preparation to defend the gospel? Peter provides the answer in the latter part of vs. 15.
We are to honor and prepare to defend the gospel to anyone we come into contact with. Now, Peter does give us some qualifications as to whom this people specifically are. They could be anyone and everyone we meet. However, what they want to talk to us about is not the weather, but God.
First, they are people who ask (αἰτέω; aito) demand or plead to us for something. These are people who are asking questions with an urgency, even to point of being demanding. What could be so important? Where we got the great deal on our new car?
Second, for what are they asking? The answer to their question is a reason (λόγος; logos) or a verbal statement from us for the hope (ἐλπίς; elpis) or confident expectation we have within our souls regarding the salvation we have from God through Jesus Christ. That is what the phrase “the hope that is in you” means.
The tone of this statement is one of urgency. While it is certain that Jesus calls all believers to share the gospel throughout their lives (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8), He also calls us to be especially prepared for those who urgently want to know not only what we believe, but why we believe it, regarding how we as sinful people can become right with God.
These encounters may occur in a hospital room, a funeral home, or even in someone’s home where the urgent desire for an answer to their questions about the gospel of God is sought. We are not to dismiss the questions, or dare I say, put them off for another day. No! God calls us to be prepared for that specific moment whenever and wherever it may happen.
So, be prepared? How is your preparation coming along? Are you getting ready for that family gathering featuring burgers and bratwurst? How about your upcoming Christmas gatherings? Perhaps you should put the Bible on your list.
Soli deo Gloria!