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Be Ready With a Defense




PRINCETON CHRISTIAN CHURCH


1 PETER 3:13-22 05 MAY 2024


You may have noticed these days, we live in a world filled with uncertainty and challenges.


In that world, our faith in Christ gives us a firm foundation and a steadfast hope.


So, this morning, we will study the Word to understand where this hope comes from and how we can—and should—be prepared to share it with others.


In our daily lives, we accomplish several tasks, and each of us has a different set or list of tasks that we expect to complete each day.


The tasks I have on my daily list will probably never be the same ones each of you have on your lists.


And the tasks you have on your list likely won’t be the same as those on anyone else’s list.


We probably would have some of the same tasks on our lists.


But even having the same tasks before us does not mean that each of us will accomplish those tasks in the exact same way as the other person will.


And hopefully, we will all get done the things that need to be done that day.


So, while we are each doing the same task in our own way, who is doing it the right way? I know people who would say, “Well, of course I am doing it the right way.”


The point is, though, that we will all be able to defend the way we do the task in the right way – that is our way.


READ: 1 Peter 3:13-22

Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.

First, let’s look at the Source of Our Hope


Peter reminds us to always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have.


He wants us to know the hope we have.


He wants us to know where our hope comes from. It comes from the Living God, who has given us new birth into a Living Hope through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.


What is this hope based on? Certainly not in our own circumstances, not in our worldly possessions.


This hope is based on the unchanging promises of God.


Secondly, let’s look at the Foundation of our Hope.


We can go to the Apostle Paul for some insight into the foundation of our hope.


Romans 5:2-5 READ


Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

These words from Paul teach us that our hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which He also gave us.


Our hope is built on the foundation of God’s love, His grace, and His faithfulness to us.


Even when we are going through trials and tribulations – we can rejoice because we still have hope – hope that does not waiver because we know that even in the midst of that trial, God is still with us -Always.


Thirdly, we want to look at the Assurance of our Hope.


For some help on our assurance, we go to Hebrews 10:23. READ


Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;

Here, we are encouraged to hold unswervingly to the hope we profess. Why should we hold tightly to that hope? And how can we be hopeful in tough times?


We can because He who promised the hope is Faithful.


Our hope isn’t based on our wishful thinking. Our hope is not based on any minor human effort we might try to use to hold on to our hope.


Our hope is based on the trustworthiness of God’s promises to us.


As we stand firm in our faith, we can have unwavering confidence that our hope in Christ will never fail us.


So, with all those truths:


  • We have a Living Hope through a Living Savior

  • We have a strong never, failing Living Savior

  • We have Assurance in our Living Savior


We can embrace the call to always be ready to defend our hope, as Peter says in verse 15—to give that account of the hope we have with gentleness and reverence.


We can develop a heart that is prepared to share the reason for our faith.


We can, with full confidence in Him, depend upon His promises


We can rely on the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit in defending our hope.


We can trust in God's wisdom and power to prepare us for every situation in this uncertain life.


Our hope in Christ is evident in His grace and His gentleness, which reflect His character.


How should we respond in the face of opposition or the questioning or doubt of someone we share the Gospel with?


We respond with love for that person’s soul.


We respond with respect and dignity in our conduct. We see those responses in Peter’s words in verse 16.


As we live our lives as Christians in an unchristian world, our lives must reflect the hope we profess. We must be a witness to our hope even in the face of opposition or questioning from the lost.


Our lives must align with the hope we profess – so that the world sees the genuineness of the hope Christ brings to us and can and will bring to them as well.


In verse 18, we find a fitting example – Christ died for the sins of all people – Why?


So that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit.


Christ’s ultimate and complete sacrifice is the foundation of our hope and salvation.


We can find strength and assurance in the redemption we have available to us through Christ’s death.


So, the commission Christ has given us today is to share the Gospel – the message of hope they can find in Christ as well.


We are to live as a beacon – a shining light – of hope in a world that is so desperately straying away from hope and salvation.


They need the light of Christ.


The closing verse of this passage of Scripture – 1 Peter 3:18-22 – Peter tells us about Baptism. He says it now saves us.

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;  in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison,  who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the waterCorresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

A person may have accomplished everything we have talked about here today. He may witness all those blessings.


But, without following through with Baptism, nothing really has changed. Sins don’t get washed away by repeating someone else’s words.


The water of baptism is where sin is washed away. It is not just a good thing to do—it is essential for the forgiveness of sin so that we can walk in the hope that is ours through Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.


That is what baptism is—a death, a burial, and a resurrection. Without it, you do not have the assurance of eternity with our Lord Jesus Christ.


Maybe you are here this morning – and maybe you are always here on Sunday morning. But unless you have submitted to the death, burial, and resurrection through baptism you don’t have the hope we have talked about today.


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