In 1 Peter 3:15 we find a verse of Scripture that is as timely as the morning news. Peter writes:
“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…”
Peter writes and tells his fellow believers three very vital keys:
(1) Live right always – having Christ in the right place and your heart in the right place. Make sure you are right with the Lord because one of the greatest tools the world has against us is our hypocrisy, our judgment, when we are just as guilty as the world. We are not saints, we have no reason to personally judge anyone, but we do have a right to uphold the truth, in fact, a command to uphold the truth of God. I have no reason to be ashamed of Scripture because it judges my life and the lives of those in the world. In fact, when Jesus died on the Cross it was the greatest act of love, but it was also the greatest act of judgment if man rejects the Cross.
(2) Always, again I say always, speak up and let people know what you believe when the opportunity arises. One of the things that we talked about Wednesday evening was our reluctance and neglect of even telling the people that we are closest to what we believe. We don’t tell family members, friends, work associates, and we must. If we don’t they assume that you believe like they believe or that you accept what they accept. All believers must be deliberate about giving a reason for what we believe. We can’t make a difference if we are pushed into silence.
(3) Do it in a gentle respectful manner. Obviously, one of the great weaknesses of the church today, the conservative church, is that we often forget about Christ’s command to love. Peter emphasizes it in this text, that each of us must always be respectful and kind to others. At times we have canceled any opportunity to defend our faith because of our attitude, our arrogance, and our demeanor. When we force ourselves on someone we will not have an audience, but when we allow the Holy Spirit to lead and prepare our hearts in the right way, we will have an opportunity to glorify the Lord and not ourselves. I want to call on each of you to make a stand, tell someone what you believe and why you believe it. Peter writes to the church in the midst of persecution, in the midst of a perverse culture, one in which believers could be intimidated, isolated, pushed into a corner. It was very much like our culture today. Recent headlines read, “Christians Cave to the Culture.” There is no doubt that the headline is true to some extent in this great country founded on biblical truth, but I hope it is not true in the lives of the believers at Crosspath. I don’t want to hurt anyone or alienate people that need the Lord, but I also have a right to what I believe. It is not as if I have come up with some strange new doctrine; what I believe is thousands of years old and is believed by millions and millions around the world. We must not be ashamed of Christ and His gospel. I do not have to apologize for having a biblical world view, and I have every right to share it in the right way when I have the opportunity.
Search Team Comments – Today in our service Don Sells, our Search Team Chairman, will share a few words with you and call on each of us to join the Team in prayer for God’s leadership.
Today we also want to remember all of those that have made the ultimate sacrifice in the wars in the history of this great country. Make it a point to pray for the families that are grieved over their personal loss, but also remember to pray for all of our soldiers and their families. We also appreciate the sacrifices made by all of our veterans over the years. Our greatest gratitude goes to our Lord who had made this nation possible, but we are thankful to all that have served for their part in pushing back the evil in this world.