“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”
1 Peter 3:15
The word defense in the Greek is ἀπολογίαν, or apologian, which is where we get the word apologetics from.
According to a world-renown Christian apologist, Michael Ramsden, as Christians we are ALL called to be apologists.
You may think that that is just for the scholarly types or super-Christians (like pastors or missionaries), but you’d be wrong.
Peter is speaking to the church, not just the bishops or archdioceses (I don’t think those actually even existed back then).
And why should this be an intimidating command? We are Christians after all. Surely there must be a reason that you believe. Do you know it? Can you remember why you became a Christian?
Michael Ramsden once made the observation that when Christians get asked the question “Why are you a Christian?” they end up explaining HOW they became a Christian.
But the question is why? Why are you a Christian? And could you explain that reason to someone who is asking?
A verse from 2 Timothy just popped in my head, Chapter 1 verse 12:
“For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”
Notice the word reason? What was Paul’s reason for being a Christian? Why did he suffer? Why did he continue on? Look at the verses that immediately precede this statement.
“[God] who has saved us and called us with a holy calling…according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”
Paul knew why he was a Christian. He had his reason. His life had been transformed because of the relationship he had with Jesus Christ.
Christianity is not a set of ideas to believe in. It’s not just a “good” philosophy. Christianity is a living, dynamic & committed relationship with Jesus Christ.