Apologetics: Give a Defense
The Apostle Peter said, “And who will harm you if you are passionate for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed, but set apart the Messiah as Lord in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense 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, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil (1 Peter 3:13-17).”
Tonight (Wednesdays) we are going to begin going through a DVD series titled Does God Exist? Building the Scientific Case produced by Focus on the Family. Upon my arrival to Vann Avenue some time ago, it was expressed to me the concern for our families and especially our children who seemed to be walking away from the faith. In fact, statistics seem to point to the reality that 75% of church-attending high school graduates walk away from the church in our culture. Doing a study like this one may help to answer some of the questions these graduates are having.
However, we are not doing this for that reason. Whenever the topic of apologetics is brought up, often the above Scripture is quoted, specifically verse 15 (be ready to give a defense). “Apologetics may be simply defined as the defense of the Christian faith. The word “apologetics” derives from the Greek word apologia, which was originally used as a speech of defense” (Taken from The Apologetics Study Bible, HCSB).
I want us to see verse 15 in relation to the bigger idea that surrounds it. For me, I want our kids to see first the necessity of setting apart the Messiah as Lord in their hearts. The ESV translates this “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy.” Jesus must be first place. We are not studying the idea of apologetics so our kids can get big heads. They need to first focus on Jesus, so that their hearts first get filled with Him (oh yea, this does involve their minds). Peter is speaking about Followers of Jesus suffering, and suffering for doing good. So, you have our young person focusing on Jesus, living for Jesus, filling their heart and mind up with Jesus, doing good to others for Jesus and then they suffer for it. Bad theology teaches that you’re suppose to be loved by everybody for doing good for Jesus. Bad theology teaches your suppose to have easy, non-suffering life if you are living for Jesus. In my own words Peter says, “With love in your hearts and because you have Christ first place in your life and you know the cost Jesus paid for you, with gentleness and respect for God and to those who are making you suffer, give them the reason Christ is bigger than your suffering.”
So, we begin tonight looking at a teaching series that I pray will give our youth spiritual steel in their spines, so that they too will have the confidence and compassion to give a defense for the reason they have hope.
Here is a trailor for our study we are beginning tonight.