top of page

Apologetics Devotional


By: Eli Ayala


Day 1


Scripture:


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.


(1 Peter 3:15-16)


Reflection:


This passage of scripture is typically overused when discussing the topic of apologetics, but the truth is, I am convinced that repetition is a good thing. It can help drill important truths into our hearts so that we don’t forget to put them into practice. Furthermore, I want to look at portions of this text that go beyond the mere “always be prepared to make a defense”, although we will cover that as well.


The Apostle Peter is writing to persecuted believers and is giving them instruction on a number of issues. A central issue that concerns our scripture reference above is the issue of suffering for righteousness sake. In the midst of persecution, the Apostle Peter is admonishing his audience (the elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia), to be submissive to the authorities for Christ’s sake. He goes on to explain that we as believers are called to holiness and that we are to imitate the character of Christ who himself underwent suffering for the sake of righteousness. After giving instructions on the importance of submission within the husband/wife relationship, he then moves into the topic of suffering for righteousness’ sake and it is here where we get the famous apologetic admonition. Let’s make some observations and applications of this important passage.


Peter tells his audience first to “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy.” This goes far beyond apologetics. While it is true that Christ must be the Lord of our hearts and minds as we engage with unbelievers, such that it is his precepts and commands that govern our methods of reasoning and argumentation, it is also true that this equally holds in every other area of our lives. Indeed, we are to “in our hearts/mind, honor Christ the Lord as holy” in everything we do, whether it is engaging in our careers, families, friendships, or whatever.


Peter goes on to command believers to “ALWAYS be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks us for the reason for the hope that is within us.” Here we have our popular apologetic focus in this passage. The word “always” is important in that packed into this word is the assumption that the life of the believer involves constant engagement in the Word of God, as “giving a reason for our hope” requires that we understand the nature and content of that “hope.” This comes in reading, studying, and experiencing the Word of God as its truth and power become the background music of our hearts and minds, such that when called upon to give an answer, we are always ready to do so.


The Apostle also calls his audience to “always be prepared to make a defense to “ANYONE” who asks…”. This is perhaps the most intimidating aspect of this passage. Anyone includes your neighbors, family members, friends, professors, philosophers, scientists etc. No matter who it may be, Peter admonishes his audience to be “be prepared to make a defense.” Defending the faith requires courage, but take courage, for the courage required to defend the faith is a supernatural courage energized by God’s Spirit and informed by the Word of God. As you study God’s Word throughout the week, pray that God grants you the courage to speak out and defend the faith when the situation calls for it.


Lastly, Peter tells us that we are to engage in the task of apologetics with “gentleness and respect.” While often neglected, this is a vitally important aspect of doing apologetics since if we are not able to engage in a respectful interaction with unbelievers, our words will fall on deaf ears. When sharing and defending the faith, may we do so with gentleness and respect, but also with a firmness and conviction that is worthy of servants of Christ.


In following this biblical advice Peter goes on to say that “when we are slandered, those who revile your good behavior will be put to shame” (vs. 16). May our apologetic response be intellectually and biblically informed, while our conduct is that of respectfulness and gentleness such that those who oppose us are treated to a two-punch combo: Intellectual rigor, and godly character to go along with our message.

2 comments

2 Comments


JeffChavez 1689
JeffChavez 1689
Jul 13, 2022

Thank you for this. I'm gonna share this. Very insightful.

Like

James Aleman
James Aleman
Jul 12, 2022

Excellent introduction to why defend, what to defend & in what manner to defend the hope that is in us. GOD bless!

Like
bottom of page