Many people ask, “What does Apologetics mean?” The Greek word for Apologetics is “Apologia” which means: “verbal defense, speech in defense a reasoned statement or argument”, according to the Strong’s Greek Dictionary. Apologetics gets its attention from Peter’s first epistle, which states: “…but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Peter 3:15)
Sanctify Christ as Lord in Your Hearts
The early Church was persecuted, mocked and martyred for being followers of Jesus Christ. Peter is writing to Christians who were being persecuted for their faith in Jesus. One of the things in a Christian’s life is recognizing the consequences of living for the Lord, and with that there will be those who oppose the faith. Christians today need to make it clear in their life that they are living for the Lord and to set their lives apart unto Him. To sanctify Him as Lord means that He is first, He is our priority, that our lives reflect Him, and this all comes from within our hearts. Many people “play” Church, many do the outward motions, but inwardly they are missing Jesus. Christianity is not about works or some man-made religion, but it is a genuine relationship with God. Knowing Jesus Christ as Lord in our hearts means to have a real or genuine faith which is living, not merely a said faith. Let us press on and set apart our lives unto Jesus by putting Him first, and let us be genuine in our faith not being self deceived. (Examine Matthew 7:13-27 very carefully.)
Always Being Ready to make a Defense to Everyone who asks You to give an Account
This is where Apologetics gets it’s foundation. Every Christian must be ready to defend their faith. Peter knew this very well in which he was opposed by many who rejected Jesus as being the Messiah and Lord. Peter writes to these Christians in order to share from his experiences and to encourage them to know what they believe. Christians today need to take time to truly examine what they believe and what they are being taught. (Acts 17:10-11, 2 Corinthians 13:5) Apologetics simply means to have an answer for what you believe and to be able to share it with others who ask you about your beliefs. Take time to truly understand the importance of knowing what you believe, why you believe it, and being examples to others around you. Consider what Paul said, “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” (Colossians 4:5-6)
Give a Defense to Those who ask with “Gentleness and Reverence.”
The book of Proverbs says: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, But the mouth of fools spouts folly.” (Proverbs 15:1-2) Christians need to share with others in a way that brings glory to God. There are people who claim to be Christians who insult people and do not share the Word in love. Peter uses the word “reverence”. This simply means to show respect as well as being a person who shows no partiality. It is important to have a gentle attitude and show respect towards those who do ask questions because in this attitude the Lord will be glorified. The Bible says in John 13:35 that Jesus’ disciples will be known by the love for one another. Therefore Christians, let your life shine so that others will see the love of Christ in you which will demonstrate that Jesus is real and He changes lives.
Apologetics, a Defense for the Faith which is not just Spoken but Lived Out in Us.
Today people are looking for answers to questions, people are searching to know which way to go, and Christians are to be lights in a dark world. (Matthew 5:13-16) Let us be people of faith by putting Christ first in our lives, by knowing what we believe and making sure that we are ready to share the Gospel, and give an answer to those who ask us, with an attitude of gentleness and respect.