Peter wrote to the Jewish believers who were struggling in the midst of persecution. “Persecution can cause either growth or bitterness in the Christian life. Response determines result.” (NASB Commentary on I Peter)
Peter encouraged these believers to, “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense (give an answer) 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 may be put to shame.
In our world today, there has been such an increase in hostility and egregiousness toward Jesus Christ and His gospel message of salvation to the lost. Unfortunately, no matter what response is given to some who may ask of the hope of the gospel within you, they will go on to walk in despair and darkness. Nevertheless, are you prepared? Are you ready and confident to defend the gospel being empowered by the Holy Spirit?
The word translated “answer” in I Peter 1:15 is the Greek word “Apologia” that means “defense” from which we get the English word, apologetics. Apologetics is the branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.
We must remember that defending the gospel of Jesus is not an option, for Jesus said, “Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven, but whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in Heaven.”
Jesus also said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth what is evil.”
May you be stirred to be more eager to receive God’s word implanted in your heart and most able and willing to give an answer (defend) to anyone who asks you, of the hope you have in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ!
References: I Peter 3:15-16, Matthew 5:13-14; Matthew 10:32-33; Matthew 12:34-35