Class Notes: 6/1/2008
1Pet 3:15 Apologetics the study of "how" to give an answer of the hope that lies with you
In our study of the mandates for the believer in God's pre-determined plan we are presently examining the mandate found in 1Pet 3:15; for the believer to sanctify or set apart the TLJC in their hearts or stream of consciousness and as a result be focused on TLJC rather than the adversities in life and to be ready to give an answer of the "hope that is in them" that results from the believer's occupation with TLJC.
We have seen that this mandate is made in the suffering of believers and that Peter is hoping is undeserved suffering for blessing even though he is doubtful that it is as illustrated by the fourth class condition of "if” used in verse 14.
Last time we saw the various doctrines and doctrinal categories that would reside and circulate in the heart of believers who sanctify TLJC in their heart.
1Pet 3:15;b Because of this, (the sanctification of TLJC In their heart) believers are "always being made ready to "make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is within you.
The Greek word translated "always" is "aei" which means "at all times" or "continually"
The Greek word translated "ready" is "hetiomos" which means to be prepared as a result of being made ready by God (passive voice). 2Tim 2:21; God prepares or makes the believer ready as they function in positive volition in the PMA of his word.
The preparation therefore is the result of believer's consistent and persistent PMA of Bible Doctrine that is communicated by the Pastor under the mentor ministry of God the Holy Spirit which provides them the operational thinking of TLJC which is the source of their "hope" or "confident expectation of Divine Good”. 2Tim 2:15;
As a result of this, believers have stability Isa 33:6; which comes from being inculcated with Bible Doctrine little by little. Isa 28:10;
The phrase "order upon order; order upon order" stresses the importance of gathering all the details revealed in the Bible on a given subject and refers to developing doctrinal categories in the Frame of Reference.
The KJV translates this phrase "precept upon precept; precept upon precept" The YLT translates this phrase "rule upon rule; rule upon rule referring to the principles or standard of thinking developed from the inculcation of Bible Doctrine. Rom 12:3;
The phrase "line upon line, line upon line" refers to the importance of examining each and every word of a passage through exegesis, the grammatical analysis of a word, in order to develop its exact meaning in the context.
The phrase "a little here, a little there" indicates that spiritual growth demands consistent research into the Scripture. By so doing one's knowledge is constantly expanded as a little information is acquired from each word, each sentence, each verse, each chapter, and each doctrine resulting in the believer having their thinking renovated so they have the thinking of TLJC.
We see from this that the highest priority for the believer is Bible study and the believer is unqualified and incapable of serving God without the spiritual growth that results from Bible study under the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit.
1Cor 2:4-14; documents the grace system that enables the believer to learn Bible Doctrine and to retain its principles in their soul for application to life and circumstances.
The believer’s real teacher is God the Holy Spirit who instructs the believer's human spirit, making supernatural information understandable and presents it to them for their volitional consideration.
It is through this system that the Holy Spirit is able to teach the believer who has positive volition, the details about the will, plan and purpose of God for their life.
This results in the renovation of the thinking Rom 12:1-2; that establishes the believer's hope or absolute confident expectation in Divine Good in the midst of life's disasters and adversities.
1Pet 3:15; Having sanctified the Lord Christ in their heart, the believer is then ready to make a defense to every one who asks you to give an account for the hope that is within you with gentleness and reverence.
The word translated "defense" is the Greek word "apologia"
The Greek word "apologia" means "a defense," or "a reason for doing or believing something." In the case of believers it means to give reasons for faith or to explain the Gospel or Bible Doctrine.
Paul also uses the word in Phil 1:7; Phil 1:16; and Acts 22:1; regarding his defense of the Gospel in 1Cor 9:3; regarding his defense of his apostleship and in Acts 25:16; and 2Tim 4:16; regarding his defense in the Roman court system.
Becoming a believer in TLJC does not involve dispensing with rational thought as some think. Apologia "or giving a defense" involves giving reasoned and thoughtful replies to questions that enable others to appreciate the coherence of the Christian faith, provide proof of it's veracity and explain why one would want to believe it.
Over the years, a category of doctrine called Apologetics has been developed that addresses these issues.
Apologetics can be thought of as having two components.
On one hand it concerns the countering of objections to the Christian faith, and on the other it concerns setting out the attractiveness and veracity of the gospel. As a result, it can be directed toward both positive and negative inquiries.
Negatively it means being able to handle objections to Christianity when they are encountered, if it is appropriate to do so. It means being able to give effective responses to the hard questions people ask about Christianity while remaining fully aware that the only doctrine that the unbeliever can understand is message to believe in TLJC because that is the only thing that the Holy Spirit is enabling them to understand through common grace.
Positively, which is the context of the use of the word in our passage, 1Pet 3:15;
Apologetics is the theological term for how one explains the gospel of salvation by Grace through Faith alone in TLJC alone and helps people understand the concepts involved.
Apologetics is the how, Evangelism is the what.
It may require taking the time to explain central Christian ideas to people who may recognize the words but not their meaning in the context of Christianity.
Believers speak easily of "grace" and "redemption", but they also need to be able to explain what they mean in a culture that that having rejected God is becoming more and more heathen and less and less oriented to the word of God and it's principles of grace and truth.
The message of the cross 1Cor 1:18; is central to the Gospel but it can be viewed from several different perspectives any one of which may be more appropriate to the process of explaining the Gospel in any given circumstance.
For example, the cross can be viewed in a battlefield image where Christ has gained a victory over sin, death, and evil through His own substitutionary spiritual death and resurrection. By their faith in him one may share in that victory and claim it as their own. 1Cor 15:57;
The cross can also be viewed in a court-of-law image, where by His substitionary death on the cross Christ has obtained forgiveness and pardon on behalf of sinners. Those who are guilty can be washed clean of their sin and be justified in the sight of God. They are removed from condemnation and given a righteous standing before God simply by believing in him. 2Cor 5:21;
It can also be explained in an alienation versus relationship image. Mankind is alienated from God because of sin. God was by means of Christ unilaterally reconciling the world to Himself, Through Christ, he makes a relationship possible and available. Sinners who are far from God can be drawn close to Him because of the substitutionary spiritual death of Christ on the cross which paid the penalty for sin when they believe in him. Rom 5:8;
There is also a prison image. where those who are imprisoned in the kosmos by the oppressive forces of evil, sin, and the fear of death can be liberated by the gospel. Christ has defeated all of these forces through his work on the cross. By believing in TLJC one is broken free from the bonds of sin and given eternal life. Heb 2:14-15;
The one who following the mandate found in 1Pet 3:15 and " is giving an answer of the hope that lies within them" can present the Gospel in a way the fits the circumstance of the individual who is asking and address their specific area of interest or need.
An example of this is found in Peter's message to the Jews in Acts 2 that he preached on the Day of Pentecost. It is recorded in Acts 2:14-36; His message was that the coming of Jesus, his life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension and his sending of the Holy Spirit provided for the entire economy of salvation and fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy.
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