Answering the Tough Questions
1 Peter 3:15
This series is based on 1 Peter 3:15.I will begin with some background information.The author Peter walked with Jesus and probably was the one disciple that had the closest relationship with Jesus.This is someone I am going to listen to.Peter is writing to persecuted Christians; individuals suffering for living out their faith in a hostile environment and courageously telling others about Jesus.They needed to hear words of encouragement; they needed to hear that what they were doing, sharing Christ to everyone, was good and needed to continue.History tells us persecution was so bad during this time period, Nero was burning Christians alive to give off light for his celebrations.They were continually being tortured and executed for their faith.
Peter is going to share a way to live courageously in the face of persecution. He tells them in 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
I believe the key sentence is “In your heart set apart Christ as Lord.” When Peter refers to the heart he is focusing on their entire being.This would entail their emotions, will, and intellect.The words “set apart” in this case means to separate Jesus from everything that would get in the way.They were to devote themselves to Jesus with their entire being.The words, “Christ as Lord” Peter is telling them to focus on the fact Jesus is God and as such He is their king.They were to totally submit to Him; nothing less would do.
This is a message that should resonate with us.We too are to exalt Jesus to the highest because Christ is Lord; He is God and He is our king and worthy of our complete devotion.
To summarize, “In your heart set apart Christ as Lord,” means to devote our total existence to Him because Christ is God and is ruler over our lives.So how does that work?What does it look like?Peter is going to show us how to set apart Christ as Lord.I will continue this discussion in part 3.