1 Peter 3:15
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” (NIV)
If someone were to ask you, “Why do you believe in God?”, what would you say?
In the first century, the apostle Peter wrote, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” But to warn against arrogance, he continued, “But do this with gentleness and respect…”
Recently I felt compelled to respond to what I felt were inaccurate and one-sided claims in Maclean’s Magazine that questioned the existence of Jesus. I was partly motivated by what Peter said about giving a reason for the hope that you have.
But when I went back to look at Peter’s exact wording I noticed his warning to “do this with gentleness and respect.” Suffice it to say I revised my draft! I had been a bit too biting!
In Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller talks about a radio host who sternly asked him to defend Christianity. Miller refused to do it because that word means so many different things to so many different people.
So instead, he told the radio host that he would “rather talk about Jesus and how I came to believe that Jesus exists and that he likes me.”
The host got tears in his eyes and later asked if they could go to lunch where he admitted “he didn’t like Christianity but how had had always wanted to believe Jesus was the Son of God.”
See what happened? He was real. And he wasn’t hung up on why everyone else should believe, but why he did.
Why are we going through all this? It’s not because we need to have all the perfect answers. It’s simply because, in love, we want to be confident in our convictions. And as God’s people, when the time is right, we are summoned to explain them.
So if someone were to ask you, “What’s so special about Jesus?” or “Why do you go to church?”, what would you say?
As a person of faith, you don’t need to know the best reason why OTHERS should believe—but why YOU do.
By Matthew Ruttan
RESOURCE ALERT –
- IS THE BIBLE RELIABLE? As a part of our current series of Sunday messages (and related to today’s ‘Up!’) I produced a brochure called “Is The Bible Reliable?” which answers 17 of the questions I get asked the most about it. You can read it in blog form here.
- ‘CONFIDENT CONVICTIONS’ QUESTIONS – Also as a part of Sunday’s message, I produced a small handout with three questions to help you become more confident in your convictions. You can also access that in blog form here and go through them yourself.
- PODCAST – Today’s devotional is partly based on my Sunday message at Westminster called “Confident Convictions.” You can hear it here.
- MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE – In today’s ‘Up!’ I reference my response to the strange claims of Maclean’s Magazine. It’s a bit of a longer read, but if you’re interested, you can check it out here.