All Christians know non-Christians. Whether with co-workers, spouses, parents, or acquaintances, a critical question faces us daily: How do I give a defense for my faith? In this lab, John explains that every Christian has a reason for the hope that is in them, and points to several possible ways you might answer an unbeliever.
Principle for Bible Reading
Searching in Concentric Circles
When seeking for answers concerning how a biblical author uses a word or phrase in a verse that you are studying, it is often helpful to start by seeking answers in the immediate context, and then moving outward from there in concentric circles.
If you were wondering what it means to “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7), you might begin by looking for clues in:
• The immediate verse: 1 John 1:7.
• Then the paragraph which contains the verse: 1 John 1:5–10.
• Then the chapter: 1 John 1.
• Then the book of the Bible: 1 John.
• Then other books of the Bible written by the same author: John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Revelation.
• Then in the rest of the Bible.
In This Lab
Pastor John sets out to answer the question from 1 Peter 3:15: What has Christ done to give us hope? He looks at the verse, then the surrounding paragraph, and then he surveys all of 1 Peter to answer this question.
- What does it mean to make a defense in 1 Peter 3:15? Does one need to be an apologist or have a Bible degree to do this well?
- What might you say to a co-worker, family member, or friend asked you what your reason for the hope that is in you?
- What can it look like this week for you to better prepare yourself for when someone asks you about your hope? Or, how can you expose your hope in such a way as to warrant questions from unbelievers?