Defending Your Faith

If you are a Christian, can you tell someone why you are? For many of us, it was just a matter of our raising. We don’t really know why someone ought to be Christian rather than, say, Muslim, beyond the fact that we believe Christianity to be true. Perhaps this is one of the reasons people find it so hard to share the Gospel with others. If we don’t know why we believe what we believe, how can we be expected to share it?

Even though many people insist that believing Jesus is simply a matter of faith and therefore requires no evidence, nothing could be further from what the Bible demands. In 1 Pet. 3:15, we are told to be ready to give a reason for our faith. The word for “reason” or “answer” here is apologia, from which we get our word “apologetics.” This doesn’t mean we are to ask people’s forgiveness for being a Christian. The word actually means “a reasoned defense.” Literally, when someone wants to know why we are Christian, we are supposed to be able to explain to them why it makes sense and why it best fits the evidence. It sure doesn’t sound like Peter is endorsing blind faith!

The word occurs several times throughout the NT. In Acts 22, Paul gives a speech to the Jewish people to try to prove to them that Jesus is the Christ and calls his speech his apologia. In Phil. 1:7, Paul tells the Philippians of how he will soon stand before the emperor and give his defense–his apologia–of the Gospel. Jesus uses the verbal form (apologeomai) in Luke 12:11 while encouraging His disciples not to worry about what to say when they are being persecuted, because the Holy Spirit will give them the words–their apology.

In fact, this blog is built on the concept of giving people a good reason to believe Christianity. Though our word is not explicitly used, in Acts 17:2, Paul reasons with people from the Scripture. He is giving a defense as to why our faith is true.

There are two main benefits to developing your own apology for Christianity. The first is that it will help you be more effective when sharing your faith with others. The simple truth is that most non-Christians have done just as little study as most Christians on what they believe and why. It doesn’t take a lot of work to show them that the evidence points strongly to Jesus Christ. The second benefit is personal. When you know why you believe what you do, when you have solid reasons for your faith, then your faith actually becomes stronger and deeper. Few things have given me the confidence to trust God with the daily worries of life as much as being able to step back and see why the big picture is true has.

Can you give a reason for your hope? If not, be obedient to Scripture and learn now. Follow this blog if it helps. You can subscribe at the top-right hand corner and get updates directly in your email inbox.

6 thoughts on “Defending Your Faith

  1. For me, sharing my faith is kind of like breathing, because I just talk about as part of my every day talking. This opens up opportunities to share the gospel. Sometimes, I just slip in little comments that you can see will get the questions starting to churn. I would like to see you expand this study on how to share your faith. Is that part of the plan?

    • Awesome post. I’ve been interested in studying apologetics for a while now, and though I’ve had a pretty good idea what it was, this post really clarified things. I agree about a deeper study in apologetics in the future.

      • Glad you liked it 🙂

        Keep reading. I’d also recommend C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. There aren’t very many books as good as that one to get a person started.

        In fact, that inspires me to put a recommended resources page. I’ll do that later this week. Thank you!

    • That’s be a great topic — practical tips/questions to ask to help share your faith. I’ll do that this week!

      Beyond that, your basic point is absolutely essential, I think. Until our faith becomes such an integrated part of our lives that we can’t help but not talk about it, then trying to tell people about Jesus will always feel forced and awkward.

  2. This was an awesome post Chris. All Christians need to know why they believe. With the God given ministry of reconciliation, we as Christians have a responsibility to tell the Good News weather people want to hear it or not. It doesn’t matter what what they do with the Gospel, When they hear it, they have a choice to make whether to accept the free gift or not. We are to to convince,and persuade. We need to Stand on truth, and Faith needs defended.

    • It’s hard for people to just present the truth and let it be after that. Even preachers feel the need to judge the effectiveness of their sermon by the alter call at the end. We just have to recognize that is God’s part, not ours. Like you said, we present truth and defend our faith. Everything else is up to Him. I think Paul said something along those lines, too, right. Something about God causing the growth? 😉

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