Can you explain your faith to someone who does not know about Jesus or Christianity? This second clause tells us to serve Jesus full time by being ready to answer.
Remember, we have some conflicts in translations here. Our verse is 1 Peter 3:15. This clause appears to have a broad disparity at first glance.
In the English Standard Version, it says
“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 ESV
But in the NET Bible it says,
“But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. Yet do it with courtesy and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15-16a NET
Exactly what did Peter mean when he said we need to always be ready to give an answer or make a defense? Can both be true?
Make a Defense
The Greek word here means to reason or explain. We get our word “apologetics” from it. So, both translations are reasonable. Peter asks us to explain our beliefs without being defensive. We’ll discuss what we say more in a future post: With Gentleness and Respect – 5 Keys to Full-time Faith Part 6.
Get Ready to Answer
Before we answer, we must get ready. We must have thought about our beliefs or when the question arises, we will stumble or deliver a flimsy, weak explanation. We’re told to be ready to make a defense. So, prepare like a lawyer. How would you answer the question, “Why are you doing this?”
Get with another believing friend one day for coffee and practice answering questions like these:
- Why would anyone believe this?
- Why do you follow Jesus?
- Or, why would anyone believe a dead guy from 2000 years ago created the universe?
If we live a transparent life following Jesus, from time to time someone will ask why we’re doing this. Take some time this week and practice your answer. And you will do exactly what Peter asks.
Want your faith to matter daily? Read the entire series on the 5 keys from this passage here – post 1, post 2, and post 3. And let us know how we can help you develop a full-time ministry in your present job.