Defending the faith–how to do it

Apologetics is defending beliefs and actions. As Christians defend the faith, explaining why we believe in Jesus as Savior, what we say is important—the content of our apologetics must be solid. We must know the facts and be armed with knowledge. However, that is just one part of the defense.

The other part of the defense of our faith is how we say it—the delivery of those facts and knowledge. In 1 Peter 3:15, Peter instructed us to use “gentleness and respect” in explaining the hope that we have in Christ. Paul, by the inspiration of the Spirit, says a similar thing in 2 Timothy 2:24-26. It says, “And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”

People need to hear the truth, and how you share that will make a big difference. Being a know-it-all or condescending is not appropriate—being kind in instructing others is what God calls us to do.

Paul also brings up another important aspect of apologetics here. Remember that God saves people, not you. Yes, we are to know information and to share it well—the “what and how” of apologetics. But our knowledge and instruction will not change anyone’s sinful heart—only God the Holy Spirit can do that. He will convict the sinner of his condition through the Law and reveal to him the remedy for his sinful condition through the Gospel.

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February 01, 2012

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