I am preaching through 1 Peter right now. Yesterday, we came to 1 Peter 3:15-16. These are challenges verses for sure.
but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. Yet do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused, those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame.
Randy Kilgore is the vice president of Marketplace Network, an association of people interested in the integration of faith and work. He writes a weekly on-line devotional for people in the workplace called Marketplace Moments. Randy Kilgore surveyed non-believers, asking, “What are the five things you want from co-workers who claim to be Christians?” Among the most mentioned items were: They wished their Christian co-workers knew more about their own Christian faith, were more compassionate, hopeful, honorable, and easy to talk to in hard times.
This little piece begs the question: What do our non-Christian friends wish about us?
From 1 Peter 3:15-16, we learn these four valuable truths about sharing the Living Hope we have within us.
We must have a complete and convictional acceptance of the Gospel ourselves.
“Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.” The word sanctify is synonymous with holy which means to set apart. Let it not be lost on any of us that the most effective witnesses are those who have settled in their hearts that the Lord is the Christ or Messiah. Is this settled in your heart?
We must be prepared to give a Clear Explanation of the Gospel.
Often, I will hear people say, “I just wish I knew more.” Or, “I’m afraid I can’t answer all their questions.” There are questions we will never answer, but this text points out that we need to find some answers. We ought to be in God’s Word every day. Just by committing yourself to read God’s Word every day, you will be preparing yourself to answer questions. Then, of course, there is more that we must do to be prepared, so let’s do that. Get prepared!
We must use Credible Methods in sharing the good news about Jesus.
The idea here is that we can’t be mean and degrading and then expect someone to hear us. I once knew a man who bragged to me about a witnessing encounter, “You will believe one second after you are burning in Hell.” He might have been theologically correct, but his approach was all wrong. Jude 22 tells us to “Have mercy on some who doubt.”
We must validate our witness with Consistent Actions.
Your walk better match your talk.
If we believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, we ought to live like we believe that.
There is somebody who is watching you in your office, at your school, or even in your home. You think that you are having no effect, but you are.
Not everyone has to be an expert like Ravi Zacharias, but every disciple should grasp the essentials. If you have been saved, you know enough Gospel to tell someone else how to be saved.