Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. Do it with gentleness and respect. – 1 Peter 3:15
1 Peter 3:8-16
8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.
9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.
10 For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.
11 Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”
15 Instead, you must reverence Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.
16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.
In George Washington’s Farewell Speech, he desired to cast a vision for the future of America, his beloved country, and its people. Washington wrote a public letter to the American people. It was published on September 19, 1796, in a Philadelphia newspaper, the Daily American Advertiser.
“The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of right and order which Heaven itself has ordained . . .. Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”
“Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles. It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.”
Washington’s farewell address was rooted in the specific challenges he saw facing the United States at the time, including increasing internal divisions and the ongoing external threat of invasion by stronger nations. But his eloquent message of unity and his warnings against regionalism, partisanship, and foreign influence ensured the address would become one of the most widely reprinted documents in American history, with powerful implications that continue to resonate today (The History Channel).
George Washington saw the importance of religion and morality for the health and well-being of his nascent nation. His sentiments are correct, not merely because a sagacious, forward-looking Washington said them. Rather they are expressions of biblical principles. Washington would have been well aware of these principles. They illustrate the importance of two cornerstones of the success of any nation.
The success of any nation is dependent upon respect for the Father and His Word.
Proverbs 29:2 When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.
The people of successful nations need to respect the Father and His Word as well.
Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.
For decades there has been an active movement in the United States to eliminate the Bible and respect for the Father God from education and government institutions.
REFLECT & PRAY
“To reverence Christ as Lord means really to believe that Christ, not one’s human opponents, is truly in control of events” (Grudem).
Father encourage me to give Your Son the Lord Jesus Christ His rightful place in my heart.
1 Peter 3:15 Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it with gentleness and respect.
The Greek word translated sanctify, reverence, or worship is hagiazo. Hagiazo is typically translated sanctify or make holy. We are to reverence and worship Him.
It has the sense of giving the Lord Jesus Christ His rightful place in our hearts. We put Him on the throne of our lives and allow Him to be in control. “To have such reverence in your hearts is to maintain continually a deep-seated inward confidence in Christ as reigning Lord and King” (Grudem).
We are to commit ourselves afresh to the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to be prepared to provide answers to others. The Greek word translated defense, answer, or explain is apologia. “Our English word apology comes from the Greek word translated ‘answer,’ but it does not mean ‘to say I am sorry’” (Wiersbe). Apologia has to do with explaining and defending our beliefs. Our defense should be reasonable, respectful, and conveyed with humility and gentleness. There is no place for arrogance or belligerence which characterizes so many acrimonious religious and political discussions.
“Believers should always be ready to provide a rationale for their faith, but they should do so winsomely and righteously” (ESV Notes). “If someone were to ask you today why you are a Christian, what would you say” (Stanley)?