Be Ready to Answer
Sunday, January 01 2017 @ 06:00 AM CST
Contributed by: Harold
Radio transcript for the week of January 01, 2017
Harold Bigham speaks on "Be Ready to Answer" on Seeking the Lost - International Radio
1 Peter 3:15 - "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear"
The word, "Be" shows a willingness to act; it implies a determination to start and implement action. The Bible provides this small word "Be" in combination with other words to encourage people to act on God's commands to make us better people. Today, we investigate the need to "Be ready to answer".
- "Be Ready Always" - The christian is to be prepared. Many admonitions are given for readiness. Being ready implies an urgency for prepareness. To be ready shows effort and work. Peter states that the christian will suffer persecution and might be asked concerning their loyalty to Christ. Why is a christian a follower of Christ? Why would a christian endure suffering and persecution? What motivating factors are behind the suffering of a christian? All of these questions are prompted by preparedness to live a Christian life to serve God. Paul was ready to preach the gospel. Romans 1:16 states, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
- "To Give an Answer" - Part of being ready is the need to be capable and able to give a defense or answer for being a Christian. Peter states that when opposition arises, the christian should provide the answer to those who are questioning Christianity. There are other times in which a christian is to provide answers. Anytime when asked, a christian needs to be capable to providing a scriptural answer to the questioner. Study is a prerequiste to providing answers.
2 Timothy 2:15 states, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
Acts 17:11 - The noble Bereans were ready to search the Scriptures to make sure. "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
Answers should be given with sincerity and love for the searcher. Speak the Truth in love. Ephesians 4:15, "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ."
Answers are to be rooted and grounded in the Scriptures and not based on "winning an argument". It is the goal of the christian to speak definitely but not defiantly. Peter states the answers are to be given in meekness toward people and fear (respect) toward God and the duty enjoined to the Christian.
- "To Every Man that Asketh You" - The christian is not to discriminate. The Bible states to be ready to answer every man or person. Each one that asks should be provided an answer. Christianity is color blinded. Color blinded and short on memory. In our text, Peter implies that the persecutor is asking the persecuted. If and when persecution comes to the christian, the christian is to use this opportunity to teach the gospel. What an amazing opportunity! 1 Peter 3:15 can then be better understood in the context of answering in the midst of persecution.
- "A Reason of the Hope that is in You" - This hope is the resurrection. Peter talks about the resurrection and what it means. 1 Peter 1:3-4, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." Some stated there is no resurrection of the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:12-19, "Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." The Christian's hope is built on the resurrection.
Are you a Christian? Are you able to be ready to answer?
God's plan reveals that after hearing the gospel taught, that we are to have faith (Romans 10:17; Mark 16:15-16). This faith leads us to repent of our sins and to confess the good name of Christ as the only begotten Son of God (Luke 13:3,5; Romans 10:9-10). The final step of God's plan of salvation is scriptural baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Baptism puts one into Christ and into His church (Acts 2:42-47). Paul wrote, "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:26-27). Jesus' blood is that which will wash away our sins. It is by contacting His blood that we have the grace of God and our sins are forgiven. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7).
Will you consider our study today and then respond in loving obedience to the commands of God? Thank you for studying with us today. May God bless you as you continue to read and study the Bible.