I wanted to talk to you guys today about Christian Apologetics. If you are new to the faith, or have never heard of apologetics, let me break it down for you.
The word apologetics comes from the Greek word “apologia” (ap-ol-og-ee’-ah). Its literal meaning is, “a verbal defense.” When it comes to the Christian faith apologetics is what we use when defending our faith.
The word is used several times in the New Testament, but we will be zeroing in on the verse above, 1 Peter 3:15.
Many schools of thought would separate evangelism, which is the act of spreading the message of Jesus to the unbeliever, from apologetics. But I believe that at the heart of good apologetics is evangelism.
The bible commands us to “ALWAYS BE READY” to give a reason for why we follow Jesus. You have probably heard this verse quoted many times. Seldom is the VERY FIRST part of the verse quoted which commands us to sanctify the Lord God in our hearts. Other translations say we must sanctify Christ as Lord over our hearts. God wanted us to know that we can’t give a good reason if we don’t have the first part right!
Colossians 2:3 says that in Jesus is, “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Think about that for a moment. ALL WISDOM. ALL KNOWLEDGE. That is a pretty audacious claim. But isn’t it amazing that when we give Him reign over our hearts that we gain access to His treasury?!
We also have another secret weapon: John 14:26 talks about divine knowledge, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said.” Have you ever given really good advice… maybe even advice you never knew you had in you until someone asked? That’s what the Holy Spirit does. He brings to mind exactly what the people around us, or even ourselves, need to hear at the right moment!
It is not hard to find someone who is offended by our faith, and it’s even less hard to find someone who will be offended when we bring up the topic of following Him. But when we have Jesus as Lord of our hearts He allows us to have compassion on people, and to react to anger with love. One of the main ways the enemy likes to snuff out the spreading of the gospel is by creating strife. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone who may have started to share the message of Jesus with good intentions, only to end up getting into a HUGE debate. Have you ever been in a debate? Something mystical sort of happens… people when in a debate hate one thing above all else: admitting they are wrong. Even if someone suspects their position might be wrong the last thing they will do after a certain point is concede.
If we genuinely care about the people we are defending our faith to the way that our Heavenly Father does then we will avoid debates and arguments at all cost. They profit nothing. Our end goal is always to call people to repentance, and to help them see their need for Jesus.
And the thing is people KNOW they need God, somewhere deep down inside. Romans 1:18-21 says that even if you have never seen a bible, or heard of Jesus, that God has manifested Himself to every single person in the world. But because we love our sin, we all suppressed the truth until we came to Jesus. I did it, you did it, and so do unbelievers. Our sin is what keeps us from believing in and trusting in the Gospel.
When we know this, it is easier to look on the person we are defending Jesus to, because we were once them living in sin and unwilling to repent.
Once we have made Jesus Lord of our hearts, then the next thing we need to do is think. Think about yourself, or people you know. What were some of the major hanging points that kept you from believing?
For me it was the devil. I had a hard time believing that a loving God would allow so much evil, or create a being like satan. It kept me from getting anywhere close to learning more about who God was. What finally helped me get over that hurtle was free will. God doesn’t want mindless sheep, He wants worship and love. You can’t love someone if the orchestrate your every move, or place thoughts in your head to MAKE you love them.
God’s greatest gift to humanity, besides the sacrifice He made for us, was free will. Because we have free will, we have the freedom to experience love. The downside is that we also have the freedom to choose a different path: selfish pride. That is the path that our enemy chose.
Evil is a hang up for many people. Lots of people have had horrific experiences like childhood abuse. It is extremely hard for them to reason how a loving God could “allow” the things that happened to them to happen. Find that thing. Ask yourself what caused you to doubt. Be honest. In the beginning of my faith I was afraid to investigate some of my major doubts, but here’s the thing:
JESUS ISN’T AFRAID OF BEING QUESTIONED, EXAMINED, OR HELD UP TO THE LIGHT!
Not one bit!
He is real, and what He says in His Word is TRUTH. So ask the hard questions. If you can’t find an answer, ask someone you trust who is strong in their faith. You can even ask me! Our God is big enough to handle our doubts!
It’s my prayer that this article will help you to give an answer to people who may question this HOPE that we have in CHRIST. Please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment if you have any questions. I would like to do a follow up where we answer some BIG questions about doubts you may have had, or other’s you know have. I’m always happy to answer any of your questions, and as always: Have a BLESSED day!