Defending your Faith#3. “Yet with gentleness and reverence” (1Pet.3:15).

Defending your Faith#3. “Yet with gentleness and reverence” (1Pet.3:15).

New Zealand is hardly famous for promoting religious values. That’s not to say that it is a society devoid of all things Christian, it is that religion is not a big part of most Kiwi’s lives. All my life I have witnessed those who have publicly opposed ungodly changes being branded as “Religious nuts.” Ironically, those born and raised in NZ claiming to be agnostic will often shut down religious conversations with expressions that amount to: “I have my own religion.”

It is for those who go out of their way to be offensive concerning Christ that require the Christian to answer “with gentleness and reverence” (1Pet.3:15). It is difficult not to take the evil words spoken against our Lord personally.

To achieve this, we must forever keep our mission before us: “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defence to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1Pet.3:15).

Knee jerk reactions don’t help. Hostile counterarguments designed to ‘put the other person right’ fail before they begin. Remember: “A gentle spirit turns away wrath.’

Defending the Faith with “Reverence” is keeping the holiness of Jesus at the centre of Evangelism. Paul says: “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men” (2Cor.5:11). Apart from the conversation-killing nature of a hostile spirit, without reverence for God we remove Jesus and insert a ‘Christ’ that is as negative as our attitude.

The truth spoken in love is a truly beautiful thing. But more beautiful is the soul that comes to Jesus when hearing the truth in gentleness and reverence.

John Staiger

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