Knowing God's Word and understanding what we believe are essential for growth in Christ and protection from deception. However, these alone aren't the final goal. We are not left on earth merely to know for ourselves what God has said but rather to share His good news with others. In other words, we're to be "ready to make a defense to everyone who asks [us] to give an account for the hope that is in [us]" (1 Peter 3:15).
The word "defense" means an answer one gives for himself. Believers are to be ready and able to give an account or explanation of their motives and reasons for holding onto their hope in Christ. Because of busy lifestyles, many Christians have never taken the time to really think through their views and beliefs. When someone challenges them, they feel a sense of panic because they're totally unprepared.
Giving an account for our faith must be accompanied by a gentle and respectful delivery. Aggressively dumping a load of truth on a questioning person rarely leads him to the Lord, but a gentle answer opens hearts as well as ears.
And remember, all that we profess must be backed up with a life of integrity. If we're living a hypocritical lifestyle, not only will our testimony be worthless, but "Christ will be put to shame" (v. 16).
These verses were not written to scholars; they were intended for ordinary people with jobs and families. The task isn't impossible, yet it requires time spent reading and studying God's Word. As you set Christ apart as the Lord of your heart, time with Him will become a joy and not a sacrifice.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
You can now read the Scriptures in Dr. Stanley's favorite teaching translation -- the New American Standard -- while learning the 30 Life Principles that have guided him for more than 50 years. The new NASB Life Principles Bible will enhance your personal study time through explanation of key passages, plus helpful resources like "Answers to Life's Questions," concordance, maps, and much more. Available in leather and hardcover.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.