Prepare To Meet A Hostile World -II
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Saturday, 16 February 2013
1 Peter 3:14b-15
14 and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 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:
2 Timothy 2:25-26
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
More guidelines for godly behaviour in an unfriendly and ungodly world:
A devotion to Christ: The last part of verse 14 and first part of verse 15 allude to Isaiah 8:12-13. The setting of Isaiah 8 is significant to understand the implication of Peter’s allusion. Ahaz, king of Judah, was facing a crisis. The king of Israel and Syria wanted Ahaz to join their alliance to fight against Assyrians, but Ahaz refused. Then behind the scene, Ahaz made a treaty with the Assyrians. But Isaiah the prophet warned Ahaz against that ungodly alliance and told him not to fear either the ungodly Israel-Syria alliance or the Assyrian army. Instead, Ahaz would have to fear the Lord and stay by Him for help and protection. In the same manner, a Christian also should not fear the world’s hostility. In times of opposition, he must fear God refuse any compromise with the disobedient ones.
So Peter said in verse 15, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts." This is similar to Isaiah’s words, "Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself." "To sanctify" indicates magnifying or exalting God over all other things. The believer must exalt Him as the object of his fear, love and service. Such a believer will gladly submit himself to the Lord’s will. Submission to God channels courage into the heart of a believer, who is faced with hostility.
A determination to defend the faith: In verse 15b the apostle challenges us to view every opposition as an opportunity to witness for the Lord. The word ‘answer’ is the translation of a Greek word (apologia) from which the English word ‘apologetic’ is derived. The Greek word often means a defence presented in a court of law. The word "always" in verse 15 indicates that a believer must be prepared to answer in all situations, not just in a legal court. Believers must be able to give a rational explanation of their faith and salvation in Christ.
Peter also states how a believer should answer or defend his faith. He must explain his faith "with meekness and fear." The word "meekness" depicts gentleness and humility. It also illustrates a self-controlled man. The word "fear" speaks of reverence for the Lord and His Word. In other words, when a believer shares or defends his faith he must be gracious and not quarrelsome.
We should guard ourselves against compromising the truth of God by associating with those who do not hold it.
Grant us a devotion that is steadfast and unflinching to thy Truth. Give us courage to refuse the company of Ecumenism and all other falsehood.