My Hope- 1 Peter 3:15

“…but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”

I know I covered this verse in my last blog post, but I want to stop on it for a minute. I gave examples of Peter and Paul giving reasons for their hope, but are you prepared? Am I prepared? I’m going to use this post to give a reason for the hope that I have.

I was raised in a Christian home, and I accepted Christ as a small child. I can’t ever remember a time when I didn’t have this hope. I am very fortunate that my parents gave me a strong foundation and we went to a church with a solid theology. I became interested in apologetics many years ago (before many people knew what it was) and slowly began studying and reading. My life has not been perfect, but God has blessed me with a wonderful husband and three terrific sons. When we have gone through difficult times, my faith has sustained me. 

Now, if you were to ask me why I believe the way I do, I would have to answer that Christianity offers the best answers for our deepest questions. Why are we here? What is our purpose? I believe that we were created by God. We have been made in his image. And he wants to reconcile us to him.

In the beginning (sounds familiar!) God created a sinless world. God then created Adam and Eve in his image. Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female.” America was founded on the principal idea that all people are created equal. We have always held that we were created by a Creator (God) and that we have intrinsic value because of this. We are moving away from this as a country, and it is not good. Greg Koukl writes in The Story of Reality, “It should not be surprising then, when cultures consistently believe that there is nothing special about being human, that soon they deny ultimate moral obligations and unalienable human rights too. When man is reduced to a mere animal- when the force of one’s worldview logic demotes humans to mere biological machines-morality and human rights die and power is all that remains. This has happened with every communist regime, and happens with all governments as they get increasingly secular” (pg. 71). As our country becomes increasingly secular, the ones in power determine who has value and who does not.

Back to Adam and Eve. When God created them in the garden, they lived in perfect friendship with God, and with each other. But he gave them free choice. He told them they could eat from every tree in the garden but one. Because they have free will, and because the devil is a liar, he tempted them, and they ate. Sin entered the world and because of this, the world became broken. They were cut off from God and death entered the world. With every generation, man’s rebellion grew worse. We are all sinners, and we are separated from God. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Because we are sinners, we deserve death. The beginning of Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death…”

But I am so thankful that God, in his mercy, doesn’t end there! The rest of the verse reads, “… but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God had a plan from the very beginning. God exists in three persons- God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They have coexisted from eternity. God sent the Son as a sacrifice on our behalf. We read in Philippians 2: 5-8, “Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus,who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross.” We also see how much God loves us when we read in Romans 5:8, “But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

It is popular today to believe that Jesus was a social justice warrior, a prophet, or just a good man, but what did he claim? “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17). “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32). “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Jesus himself gave the reason he came. He came to save us from our sins and provide a way to reconcile us to the Father. The way that we learn about Jesus is not to read about what others say about him or read about what others think he was here to do, but to read the Scriptures for ourselves.

Jesus conquered death on the cross. His death and resurrection give us the ability to now approach the Father. Romans 10: 9-10 says, “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.” When we trust in Jesus, we follow him. We change our direction from the way we were living. We repent of our sins. When we are first saved, we are justified. We are declared righteous before God. From then on, we are being sanctified. We are set apart, being made holy.

My faith rests in the resurrection of Jesus. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, “Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel I preached to you, which you received, on which you have taken your stand and by which you are being saved, if you hold to the message I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one born at the wrong time, he also appeared to me.” Paul knows how important the resurrection of Jesus is to the Christian faith. He goes on in this chapter to say, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins” (vs. 17). But Paul finishes with this. “But as it is, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive” (vs. 20-22).

And because Jesus has conquered death, those of us that have put our trust in him will have eternal life with him. Jesus says in John 3:14-17, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

It is not as simple as praying a prayer and living our lives however we want. We confess with our mouth and believe with our hearts. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit. Paul writes in Ephesians 1:13-14, “In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed.The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory.” (You can go back and read my blog post on Ephesians if you want to learn more about this). By believing with our hearts, we are going to live differently. We should begin demonstrating the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

So there it is! My hope. Sin entered the world through Adam, but God had a plan for us. He sent his son, Jesus, to bring us back to him. If we accept the gift, we can be reconciled to him and have eternal life. Our life here on earth is not going to be perfect (as we are learning in 1 Peter), but we can have the joy of knowing that God has everything under control.

Grace be with you!

Note: I highly recommend Greg Koukl’s book “The Story of Reality- How the World Began, How it Ends, and Everything Important That Happens in Between.” It’s a clear explanation of the Christian worldview in an easy-to-read format.


4 responses to “My Hope- 1 Peter 3:15”

  1. You write so clearly and beautifully, Kimberly. Your post today for some reason reminded me of this uncharacteristically jazzy number by the late Rich Mullins comparing modern philosophies and scientific theories about what it means to be human with what’s said about that in the Bible, which Mullins poetically termed “The Book Of Love.” Enjoy.


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