“…and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15b NKJV
If you had a typical childhood, then you probably grew up believing that Santa Claus (or Father Christmas) was real. How old were you when you found out that your ‘faith’ was baseless, because your dear white-bearded gift-giving Christmas sensation was, in fact, your Sunday School teacher wearing a fake beard and a costume? How did you feel when you realised that what you’d believed all along had been a lie?
The same way many of us were led to believe in Santa Claus, our parents passed their religious views down to us. Many people are Christians simply because they were born into Christian homes, and sadly, not everyone was handed the right information about God.
What’s sadder is that there was often no room to even attempt to question those inherited beliefs. So, some people grew up believing that Jesus is merely an archangel or a prophet, some others believe even the little assumption that Saul’s name was changed to Paul after his conversion.
But have you ever thought to test the validity of your beliefs? How do you answer questions about the existence of God and the creation of the world? Why do you believe in life after death? If there is a God, why do bad things happen to good people? Of all the religions in the world, why should one choose Christianity?
Our anchor verse instructs us to always be ready to answer questions. This is beyond trivial matters like whether Santa Claus exists or which footballer is better. Every single Christian ought to be an apologist; able to defend what we believe!
In sharing the gospel to various audiences, there is a level of diligence required for persuasion (Acts 19:8-10, 17:1-4). Many people will have questions, and if you don’t diligently give yourself to studying, you won’t be able to respond suitably.
The Bible is replete with several instances of Jesus answering questions that different people groups brought to Him. And even when some of them were looking for loopholes in His message, Jesus always had the right answers to give!
This month’s articles are tailored to help you develop your own convictions, so that you will know why you believe what you believe, and also be able to explain it to others. One by one, we will tackle some of the frequently asked questions about the validity of the Christian faith.
The goal is to strengthen your faith and equip you with the knowledge you need to confidently and effectively present the gospel to other people.
From this month, decide to be diligent in building your convictions. Christianity is a faith with logical answers to its claims. Seek to know them.
Bible Reading Plan: Joshua 22-24