Answering the Tough Questions
1 Peter 3:15
Secondly, we can set apart Christ as Lord by…
2.Always being prepared to answer
Peter writes: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”Notice right off he says, always be prepared to give an answer.He doesn’t say, when you get a chance be prepared or if you have the time be prepared or when you are mature in the Lord be prepared; instead he says ALWAYS be prepared to give an answer.
So what is Peter asking here?A commentary of Peter writes…
“The exhortation here is instructive, for Peter assumed that believers have solid intellectual grounds for believing the gospel. The truth of the gospel is a public truth that can be defended in the public arena. This does not mean, of course, that every Christian is to be a highly skilled apologist [person who makes a defense] for the faith. It does mean that every believer should grasp the essentials of the faith and should have the ability to explain to others why they think the Christian faith is true.” (New American Commentary – New American Commentary – Volume 37: 1, 2 Peter, Jude)
Could you answer everyone that asks you a question?If not, then work is needed.So how can we grow in our knowledge?Let me set out some challenges.First we can grow by…
·Step 1: Daily study
Not everyone is called to be a scholar but Peter says we all need to be able to provide an answer to anyone who asks.People need answers; your kids or grandkids or neighbors need answers to their questions.This is one step in preventing the next generation from leaving the church.So what do we study?We can read the Bible, apologetic books [books defending the faith], theology books, online articles, and journals that equip the believer to defend his or her faith.You could also listen to teachings found online or purchased from trusted organizations.
Can you find a minimum of 2 hours or more a week to be prepared to answer?Peter is challenging us to be prepared.
·Step 2: Teach the material to others
One of the best ways to learn any material is to teach it to someone else.Teach your kids; teach a fellow believer; teach or discuss with your spouse; teach a Sunday school class; teach someone!Remember when you learn new information you either use it or lose it.Discuss what you learn with someone else.
·Step 3: Share with those who don’t agree with you
For most of you this is probably the hardest step.I personally learn much more from people that don’t agree with me than I do from people who do.By talking with an opposing viewpoint it forces us to develop our arguments and opinions, in a clear and concise manner.You really have to think through what you believe before you can talk to someone who doesn’t agree with you.I get in these conversations by first developing relationships with non-Christians and then tossing out bait to open the doors for conversation.I get into spiritual conversations all the time.People love to talk about issues that matter.This is a step, as scary as it may seem, all followers of Jesus Christ are commanded to do.
Peter says we are to give an answer with gentleness and respect.We need to make sure our conversations are winsome and attractive.Sharing is about the development of a friendship relationship and then sharing the truth in love.Key to giving an answer is to know what we believe.We need to weekly spend hours of our time dedicated to study of our beliefs.Just remember it was Peter who challenged your thinking and not me.Begin today by setting apart Christ as Lord and being ready to give an answer to people who need Jesus.
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