17th July 2017

Be Ready To Give An Answer 

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
1 Peter 3:15 (KJV)
 

This verse is a very familiar one. Whenever we are reading a familiar verse of scripture our attitude should be, “Lord, I need to know this verse better, teach me what this verse means anew and afresh.” So, today let’s look closer at the word ‘answer.’

The word ‘answer’ in the above scripture is a Greek word meaning ‘apology.’ Be ready always to give an apology? The Greek word ‘apology’ in this context does not mean that the believer is to go around apologising to everyone for their beliefs. Today, when we think of the word ‘apology,’ we think of saying “I’m sorry” to someone. But the Greek word ‘apology’ means to give a defence, a reply, or literally ‘to speak back.’ If you look up the word ‘apology’ in a good English dictionary you will find that one of the meanings is still ‘a defence.’

To give a defence means to give a verbal defence, to make a speech in defence of what you believe. As believers in Christ, we are to defend our hope in Him, to give justification for our rightful expectancy based upon the person and work of the Lord. The believer is to defend himself in light of false accusations that are made against him or his faith. It is interesting that in ancient Athens every citizen had to be able to defend himself personally if he were brought to trial or accused. There were no lawyers at that time in ancient Greece. A person could not hire a lawyer to make his defence for him. The believer is responsible to make a personal defence. No one else can do it for him.

Peter, and the other Disciples, on the day of Pentecost, were falsely accused: “These men are full of new wine” (Acts 2:13). Peter lifted up his voice and gave a skilful defence, saying “These are not drunken, as ye suppose…” (Acts 2:15). His defence included a wonderful presentation of the gospel. Later, Stephen was falsely accused by an angry mob and we find his masterful defence in Acts 7. Paul at different times was brought before rulers, having been wrongly accused, and he was ready to give a defence. One such example is in Acts 22:1, “hear ye my defence (apology).”

The early Christians were accused of being ‘atheists.’ In the heathen Roman homes were many idols and statues, but in the homes of believers no visible ‘gods’ could be seen. As a result, they were accused of not believing in those gods. They defended themselves against this charge by declaring that their faith was in the invisible and only true God. We need to always be ready to answer those who accuse us falsely or ask us about our faith.

Prayer
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for Jesus Christ, our hope of glory. Help us always to be ready to answer and defend our hope in him. Thank you Father, in Jesus’ name.
Amen
 

Study by Dennis Payne

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About the Author:
Dennis Payne attends the North London Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God London
Indian YMCA
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
LONDON W1T 6AQ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2:30pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Martin Ryan
Phone: 07958 386944
Email:   martin_ryan@wcg.org.uk

 

 

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