1 Peter 3:15-17 — “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”
My Sins Are Always Before Me
This verse (above) is extraordinarily helpful. It is also fills my heart with guilt. Psalm 51:3. “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.”
So many times I:
(1) have NOT been prepared and equipped with the word by diligent study of it. Therefore, when opportunity arises to give a defense for the HOPE that is in me, I am not prepared and even shame the gospel of Christ. By by slacking who have I ultimately offended? Yeah, maybe I’ve embarrassed myself in the situation, which can be laughed off EXCEPT that it offends a holy God. By doing so, I have NOT revered my LORD.
This should be me EVERY day towards the commandments of God:
Deuteronomy 6: 6-9 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9“You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Proverbs 7:3. “Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Not only by not giving testimony of Christ is it sin, but by failing to do what He, through Peter, through the Holy Spirit, has commanded.
James 4:17. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, to him it is sin.”
Matthew 19:17-19. And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Matthew 22:37-40. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
John 14:21. “Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
1 John 2:4. “Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
So I have broken God’s law by breaking His commands and therefore have disproved my love to God by being unprepared when challenging Christian situations arise.
Thankfully, the guilt is followed by His forgiveness, only through Christ Jesus.
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
After Peter healed, through the Holy Spirit, a lame beggar at the Temple gate in Act 3, he was arrested and questioned at the Sanhedrin. When he was asked to give a reason for the Hope that was in Him, Peter said:
(Acts 4) “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’[a]12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
The Christ of who i am to give a defense is JESUS, the only One through whom salvation is possible!
(2) Another guilt that He will forgive me through Jesus Christ is not always showing respect, especially to my superiors. While I certainly try (sometimes), it is not always with the heart, and therefore certainly not physically always demonstrated either. Christ certainly showed humility, how much more so than myself, a worm?
Psalm 22:6, 9-10. “But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.”
Romans 13:1. “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
There certainly is no need for any pride! For,
2 Corinthians 10:17. “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Make Every Thought Captive To Christ
Why should I NOT be afraid of tearing down the prideful front and allowing humility in? Because no matter how *intellectual* the person I speak to is, EVERY though must be taken captive to Christ. By saying that it is clear that every thought, idea, and argument, CAN be taken captive to Christ. This will help me OBEY Christ! And I don’t have to be intellectually aggressive and snobby for this to be true. In fact, I shouldn’t!
2 Corinthians 10:4-6. “4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.”
Colossians 2:8. “8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world rather than on Christ.9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.”