Truth and Love



1 Peter 3:15 – But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

I was taught 1 Peter 3:15 and encouraged to memorize it as a guide for evangelism.  It has served me well in that regard.  God’s people should honor Christ as holy, and we ought to always be prepared to explain the reason for our hope in Jesus in a respectful manner.  This Bible verse provides good direction for sharing our faith.  Read a few verses before and after 1 Peter 3:15 to find a greater context.

Peter was writing to Christians who were suffering because of their faith.  The world saw their Christian faith and punished them for it.  Peter commands these believers to suffer well for the sake of God.  They were to do good, seek peace, be brave and content, and maintain a clear conscience as they suffered for doing good (1 Peter 3:8-17).  They were responsible for understanding how to explain the good news of eternal life in Jesus Christ to anyone who might be curious, and they were to do it in a gentle and respectful manner.  This is the kind of church for me.

Let us be a local family of Christians who honor Christ the Lord as holy.  I pray that the name of Jesus Christ would be revered in our community.  I cringe to hear His name used in a loose and flippant manner.  There is too much power in that name for us to be careless with it.  The name of Jesus is greater than any other name, and the day will come when every person will bow in reverence before Him (Philippians 2:9-11).

Let us also be a people with a deep regard for the truth.   Peter told the people to be prepared to make a defense for their faith.  There are reasons for believing Jesus Christ is Lord.  We have the privilege of informing our faith by reading and studying the Bible.  Our hope becomes firmer and surer as we better understand the person of God.  Our faith is based upon the truth of Jesus Christ.  It is no fairy tale.  May God’s people celebrate the truth and pursue deeper understanding every day.

Last but not least, let us be a people of compassion.  Peter instructed them to proclaim the truth with gentleness and respect.  We are motivated by our love for God and for people, and there is no room for an arrogant and argumentative heart among the people of God.  It is not practical, and it is does not accurately reflect God’s heart for people.  May God’s people operate out of compassion and love.  After all, God is love (1 John 4:8).

May God’s people honor Christ as Lord and celebrate the truth of His Word, and may we do it all in humility and love.

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