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Jean Mary Saint Paulin
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February 2, 2017

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

There are several verses in the Bible that give the responsibility to every Christian to prepare to defend their faith. But, the one we know the most and which has a depth that I would like to point out in the following lines is the third chapter of the first epistle of Peter to the Jews scattered by persecution ( 1 Pie. 3:15 ).

But keep the holiness of God the Lord in your heart. Always be ready to

defend the hope that is in you, in front of all those who ask you for a reason , [but] do it with gentleness and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that even where they slander you [as if you were doing evil ], those who criticize your good conduct in Christ will be ashamed. »(Segond 21 SG 21)

There are several remarks that are essential.

1. First, let us stress that the order was not addressed to a team of experts in apologetics. It was made to a group of Christians, if you will, at a local church. Therefore, it can be understood that apologetics lives and dies in the life of the church. It should be practiced by all who are Christians.

2. There are two commands made in the verse: a) Respect in your heart [1] the holiness of God the Lord. b) Always be ready to defend [2] the hope that is in you… The immediate context of the verse reads in verse 8 which is a reference to a holy life, a life that pleases God. To repeat Michael Ramsden, it is assumed that one who behaves as Jesus Christ teaches will have people asking him questions relating to his faith. However, our Christian life is a letter to the world, as Paul reminds us in 2 Cor. 3: 4. I am not suggesting that you would be loved by all for your good behavior. On the contrary, I want to believe that the idea of questioning you could relate better to the intention of hindering your faith. Therefore, you must be prepared to answer them.

3. Giving an answer engages you in evangelism in one form or another. By the way, it is an anticipation of the need for continuous training work, given the diversity of beliefs in the time we live in. Having said that, the Christian must understand the reasons why he does not believe anything else.

4. I added verse 16 so as not to stop the flow of ideas conveyed by the text. It indicates the way to defend oneself, with gentleness and respect. Whatever a Christian does, he must be guided by love. I wholeheartedly believe that true love begets meekness (Gal. 5:22). Hence, the Christian's concern in the process of defending his faith is the redemption of the other for the Lord. And, the rest of the verse explains why to do it with gentleness and respect. It is not finished, the analysis of 2 Tim. 2: 24-26 which seems to be the most explanatory text of the need to confront all those who oppose our faith with gentleness and patience. I am avoiding the details of the text to draw your attention to the revelation of verses 25 and 26. This is done in the hope that the other will come to the knowledge of the truth, in order, ultimately, to submit. at the will of God.

In short, apologetics is not a responsibility to be assumed by a small group, but it is entrusted to all believers who opt for a life witnessing love, holiness, sharing, respect, etc. which, in return, will raise questions from those around them. So the Christian must be ready to respond to them with gentleness and respect.

Jean Mary Saint Paulin
Masters in Theological Studies,
Liberty University

[1] The word Heart in the Bible does not refer only to the heart organ but also and above all to the seat of our emotions, will and intellect.
[2] This is the Greek word apologia from which the word apologetics comes.

Des cahiers
Prepare to defend your faith
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