1 Peter 3:15 / Apologetics? Why? (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on July 17, 2014

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This sermon was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on Sunday morning, July 13, 2014. This message deals with the necessity of apologetics based Bible teaching in our churches and homes. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

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Apologetics_ Why_

SERMON NOTES:

Apologetics? Why? – 1 Peter 3:15

This (defense) is essentially a legal term. It means to give a defense or an answer to an accusation. In essence, you could say that it’s an explanation of why.

We see this word used three times in the New Testament (translated as defense), in relation to the Gospel.

  • 1 Peter 3:15 (13-16)
  • Philippians 1:7 (3-7)
  • Philippians 1:16 (12-18)

In a world where the Gospel is increasingly under attack by such means as evolution, anti-Biblical history, relative morality, relative truth, etc., the defense of the Gospel has become more necessary than ever.

Even so, the believer who stands up and publicly defends the pure doctrine of the Bible will, in the very least, be defamed.

It comes with the territory, but it does not change the mission.

The believer needs to not only know what he believes, but why he believes it.

In order to do that, we need to understand that the Christian faith is not a blind faith. Instead, it is a faith characterized by substance and evidence.

Look at the Biblical definition of faith:

Hebrews 11:1

  • Substance = real, tangible
  • Evidence = proof

God has given us His Word so that we can KNOW and believe. . . Not doubt!

1 John 5:13

You can be certain of Biblical faith, because it is characterized by substance and evidence.

Lack of this certainty has resulted in the lack of acceptance of the physical things which the Bible teaches.

One of the many problems that we face in the church today, is the limiting of the Bible to just spiritual matters.

Many in the church seem to have adopted the attitude that the church should only deal with the spiritual, while we leave everything else to others.

The problem with that is the Bible deals with the physical, as well as the spiritual.

The first rule of good Bible interpretation is to start with the literal, unless Scripture itself tells you otherwise.

The Bible tells us that our faith is not based on speculation, rather it is based on substance and evidence.

In fact, Jesus made it clear that we won’t believe the spiritual (heavenly) things unless we believe the physical (earthly) things.

John 3:12

In fact, The very first testimony of God that we ever see, is that of the creation. This entire universe bears witness to the creator.

Psalm 19:1

Romans 1:20

What’s more we see evidence of the truth of God’s word all over the earth.

When you see the many fault lines, you see evidence of Genesis 7:11, which says that the fountains of the great deep broke open.

When you look at the Grand Canyon, the strata, and the fossil record, you see evidence of a global flood.

The marks of the Word of God are all around us, yet people refuse to see them.

Peter specifically talks about this.

2 Peter 3:5

If you read the full passage, you’ll see that people are ignorant of the heavenly things (in this case, the return of Christ), because they have rejected the earthly things (in this case, the flood).

Peter actually says that they are willfully ignorant, what that means is they choose not to know.

The simple truth is, if one will reject the testimony of creation, they will reject the truth of salvation.

This is precisely the point that Jesus was making to Nicodemus, in John chapter 3.

In this case, Nicodemus was concerned with the heavenly things, but was ignorant of the earthly. therefore, he couldn’t understand the simple truth of salvation.

God has not called us to a blind faith, but to a reasonable faith.

He has given us substantial evidence that we can see, hear, feel, touch, etc.

This is precisely why Paul tells us that no one has an excuse to reject God. Romans 1:20

The question is, what are you going to do with that evidence?

Will you ignore it, or will you use it to better understand the deep things of God?

As Christians, we should actively be teaching the earthly, as well as the heavenly.

We should be teaching and studying all of what God’s Word has to offer.

By doing that, we will strengthen our faith and the faith of other Christians, and who knows, we might just win a few more people to Christ.

After all, Jesus Christ is THE very real and substantial object of this substantial faith!

For that reason, Christians need to be able explain their faith in a way that the unbelieving world will understand, and that factually demonstrates the truth and authority of the Word of God.

Sadly, this is the very thing that is lacking in so many churches today.

There has developed such a pre-occupation with relevance that the church has become irrelevant to the Gospel.

It has turned many preachers into motivational speakers, at the expense of rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

relevant messages if the Bible is God’s word, it is automatically relevant.

That is really a code word for messages that are devoid of any deep theological or doctrinal content. Motivational messages instead of the Word of God.

This has lead to many churches that look successful on the outside, but are really nothing more than social clubs.

Is it any wonder that while the church appears to grow, it has actually lost most of its credibility?

That type of church is definitely not the example we find in the New Testament church.

Instead, we constantly see the New Testament writers correcting false doctrine and demonstrating the truthfulness of the Word of God.

Somewhere along the way, that emphasis began to change.

It has resulted in churches full of baby Christians who are blown about by every wind of doctrine, and its time for the church (Christians) to get off the milk and grow up!

Hebrews 5:12-14

This lack of teaching has resulted in churches that no longer have any real influence, because most people have come to believe that truth is relative, rather than absolute.

If Christians can’t demonstrate that the Word of God is THE truth, then we are needlessly losing souls to hell.

We need to develop a true understanding of the Word of God, so that we can discern good from evil, and have the credibility to effectively reach the lost.

After all, would you trust someone who can’t explain the reasons for their beliefs?

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