"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:" 1 Peter 3:15.
As Christians we should be examples or witnesses in the world of what Christ was like, not only in actions but also in words. Especially should those who believe uncommon or unpopular truths be able to quote Scriptures supporting what they believe. To quote Joe Bloe or Charlie Brown holds no weight in a serious religious discussion. The Bible and the Bible alone should be the basis for everything we believe. To do this we must examine well the foundation of our hope, so that we can give a reason for it from the Scriptures.
It is our privileged as Christians to study God's Holy Word, the Bible, comparing Scripture with Scripture as did the noble Bereans, so that we can know what we believe is based on God's Holy Word and not cunningly devised fables of men (2 Peter 1:16). Some may argue that they are not smart enough, but God has a promise, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." James 1:5.
Paul admonished Timothy:-
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15.
"Many who profess to believe the truth for these last days will be found wanting. They have neglected the weightier matters. Their conversion is superficial, not deep, earnest, and thorough. They do not know why they believe the truth, only because others have believed it, and they take it for granted that it is the truth. They can give no intelligent reason why they believe. Many have allowed their minds to be filled with things of minor importance, and their eternal interest is made secondary. Their own souls are dwarfed and crippled in spiritual growth. Others are not enlightened or edified by their experience or by the knowledge which it was their privilege and duty to obtain. Strength and stability are with truehearted professors."" Testimonies for the Church Vol 2 by E. G. White, p. 634 par. 1.
Does all this mean that we have to have prepared speeches ready to give to anyone who asks us why we believe as we do? Christ told His disciples:-
"And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say." Luke 12:11, 12.
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26.
The Holy Spirit can teach us to understand and He can bring things to our remembrance. What He cannot do is bring something to our remembrance that we have not already put there. That is why it is so important for everyone to study the Bible for themselves. Then and only then, can the Holy Spirit bring things to our remembrance when we are required to give a reason for the hope within us.
© S. D. Goeldner, February, 2013. Last updated July, 2020.
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