by Jason Brooks
This message is about defending the gospel – or, to use a more technical term, it’s about apologetics. If you’ve never heard the term apologetics, let me define it for you in a way you can understand: nerd Christianity.
Apologetics is being able to explain why you believe what you believe, and to answer questions about your beliefs in a way that shows their logical and reasonable nature. The golden verses of apologetics are 1 Peter 3:15-16:
“Honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense (apologia) to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear.”
The key words in those two verses are as follows:
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Defense – a well-thought out and thorough explanation of your position. This does not mean you have to explain everything beyond doubt, or to the satisfaction of the person asking questions of you. It merely means that you have to make a compelling case that the evidence you have for your position makes sense with reality.
Reason – solid evidence. Evidence does not have to empirical to be valid; in other words, you don’t have to have God walk into the room in order to show that He exists. You can make a compelling case for His existence without Him having to be revealed. People do this all the time in the scientific world; don’t let their burden of proof be less than yours.
Hope – this is an expected outcome, a fulfilled promise with additional works to happen at a later date. Christian hope is not like we currently define hope; it’s not wishful thinking. It is looking forward to the completion of all of God’s promises – a confidence about what is to come.
Gentleness and respect – let me be clear: in the Christian life, how you live and present the Gospel says as much about the Gospel as the words you use. There is a weight given to both your words and your actions, and if you show arrogance, anger, or other contra-Gospel attitudes when you speak of Christ to someone else, you make one of the following two statements: either the Gospel is false, or you are.
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