“Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.” 1 Peter 3:13-17 (NASB)
One of the cornerstone verses of Chapter 3 Ministries is 1 Peter 3:15. In verse 15, Christians are called to be ready to make a defense for the hope that is in them. Chapter 3 Ministries has been established in part to provide encouragement and direction for Christian women in this area. This defense can be given through our testimony and through the work of apologetics. I believe that women are called to do this work just as men are. I also believe they are completely capable. Christian women also have no less need. We encounter teachings and ideas that we need to defend against, and we have opportunities to share our hope. We can and must do the work to be ready.
I have seen that there is a great need amongst my sisters in Christ to harden their shields. I hope to offer some assistance in that area. I care deeply for the truth of God and for those who need to hear it; and I have spent decades ministering to them. If I can learn to be ready, I know others can. Our hope is worth the effort and worth defending. It is a great hope that is more valuable than anything on this earth. Our hope is “a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (1Peter 1:3) Through Jesus we have hope for our own resurrection and eternal life. He is our hope, and we look forward with hope to His return. These are the glorious banners of hope that we carry.
We live in a time when there are many voices contrary to our hope, and we are surrounded with influences and teachings that could possibly divert us from the truth of the gospel. Being ready to answer to these things is so important. I believe its purpose is trifold. First, in defending our hope we are standing up and saying we are not ashamed of the gospel. We believe God’s word to be true in spite of contrary views and arguments. This brings glory to God. Oh, that we all stay strong in our testimony to His word! This does not mean that we don’t examine those views and arguments. It’s important that we face these challenges and not ignore them. We must look at them with an open mind, and we do not need to be afraid to do so. Truth will prevail.
Secondly, our defense is important for ourselves. It’s important that we understand Christianity in its true biblical form. That is where the truth of God is. If we have sanctified Christ as Lord in our hearts (1 Peter 3:15), the Bible ought to be regarded above all else. Having a correct understanding of it enriches our relationship with God and helps protect us from false arguments and teachings that can separate us from the light of the gospel. It is far better for us to see Him correctly than to espouse beliefs that do damage to what He has revealed to us in His word. Such beliefs separate us from knowing Him as He wants us to know Him. They do not glorify Him nor fill our hearts with joy like the truth would. We must always pursue the truth for His glory and for our good.
Lastly, our defense is important for others. When someone challenges our faith, we have an opportunity to share the truth of Christianity with them. That is exciting! Being ready can bless them greatly. It is important that we carry within us compassion for those who may challenge us. We must always demonstrate gentleness and reverence when we share our hope. (1 Peter 3:15) What a joy it is to think that we could be part of the process of leading someone to correct biblical knowledge of God and true worship in Christ! Our defense is also important for our fellow Christians. We may know a friend or family member who is sincere in their zeal but has gotten entangled with ideas or teachings that are not scriptural. How great it would be to gently and reverently offer some aid. If you are a mom, apologetics can be shared with your child(ren). You can share what you have learned and help them to be ready too.
For articles about apologetics including one about How to Get Ready to Defend your Faith (How to Become an Apologist), please see the sidebar menu. You may also wish to visit my blog for related posts. As my site develops, Lord willing, you will find more articles under Apologetics devoted to the defense of our hope. There will be articles about general apologetics and specific topics such as Islam, the Watch Tower Society, evolution, atheism, and more. Please check back for new articles.