The biblical and reasoned defense of the biblical faith.
- Apologetics is the biblical and reasoned defense of the biblical faith. God gives believers many opportunities to give evidence to others that what we believe is true. We talk with people about the evidence for the existence and nature of God, Jesus Christ—his life and times, physicalresurrection, the reliability of the Bible, Christianity and pagan myths, the origin of the universe and of man, miracles, salvation by faith alone in Christ alone, biblical and non-biblical worldviews, and other doctrines of the Word of God.
- When we answer the critic’s questions, explain why we believe what we believe, and challenge them to consider what the Bible says, we are not only evangelizing and teaching, we are also practicing apologetics.
- The word “defense” comes from the Greek word apologia “a speech of defense or reply.”The writers of the New Testament use the word eight times—Acts 22:1; 25:16; 1 Corinthians 9:6; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Philippians 1:7 and 17; 2 Timothy 4:16, and 1 Peter 3:15.
- Peter tells us to be ready to give a defense for the hope that is in us: “ (1 Peter 3:15).
- Paul had an apologetics ministry in Athens and in Ephesus. In Athens he spoke with Jews, God-fearing Gentiles, and Greek philosophers:“reasoning [in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place [Acts 17:17]…. they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, ‘May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming?’ [Acts 17:19].”
- In Ephesus he spoke in the synagogue and in the school of Tyrannus: “reasoning [and persuading [, to persuade, to have confidence] them about the kingdom of God [Acts 19:8]….reasoning [daily in the school of Tyrannus [Acts 19:9].”
- Apollos was using apologetics when he discussed the faith with some Jews in Corinth: “for he powerfully refuted [the Jews in public, demonstrating [by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ” (Acts 18:28).
- Paul wrote from a Roman prison that he had a ministry of “defense and confirmation of the gospel” (Philippians 1:7) and “I am appointed for the defense of the gospel” (Philippians 1:16).
- Paul also instructed Titus that the elders-overseers-pastor-teachers should “be able…to refute [, expose, convince, correct] those who contradict” sound doctrine (Titus 1:9).
- Luke (Luke 1:1-4 and Acts 1:1-3) and Paul (1 Corinthians 15) used evidence to give others a reason to consider that Jesus Christ is the only savior.
- Jude interrupted a letter about our salvation through Christ and instead wrote to encourage believers to earnestly contend [for the faith: “ (Jude 3). Then in Jude 22-23, he made it clear that there are some who have doubts about the Word of God. We ought to have mercy on them, which includes teaching, answering questions, and challenging them so that they might grow strong in the biblical faith.
- Apologetics is a part of witnessing, teaching, and preaching God’s word. Apologetics is doing what God said to do. Apologetics is giving evidence that “the Word of God is living and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12).
- We are all called upon to “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 “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (1 Peter 3:15; Jude 3).
Sunday, October 15, 2000