15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
1 Peter 3:15, KJV
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
1 Peter 3:15, NIV
15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.
1 Peter 3:15, NLT
15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
1 Peter 3:15, ESV
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, 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 3:15, NKJV
For this verse analysis, we will be using the O.I.C.A. method of studying the Holy Bible.
1 Peter 3:15 was written to emphasize the importance of defending the hope that is within us. Christians, particularly apologists and evangelists, are called to always be ready to make a defense to anyone who asks us to give an account for that hope. This defense is to be made with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who slander us may be put to shame (or even encouraged!) by our good deeds.
The Greek word for defense in this verse means “reasoned argument.” This verse is not calling Christians to defensive violence, but to be ready to give a rational explanation for why they believe what they do.
This verse is an important reminder that God does not want us to take our faith lightly. It is not enough to simply believe in something because it is what we have been taught but to be capable of defending that faith and using it to set a Godly example.
Christian apologetics are “the defense of the Christian faith.” In modern times, apologetics refers to efforts by Christians to defend their beliefs against objections from non-Christians, as opposed to referring to the entire field of Christian theology.
Christian apologetics is not about winning arguments or necessarily converting people to the faith. Rather, it is about providing a reasonable and coherent defense, so that those who are interested can make an informed decision about whether or not to become Christians themselves.
“Sanctify Christ” & “In Your Hearts Revere Christ”
Sanctifying Christ means to make Him Lord in your life. It means to let go of sin and live for Him.
Jesus should be our number one priority, and everything else should come after; we are to be prepared to share the yearning that we have in Him with others.
It’s not enough just to know about God. We must also be ready to explain to others why we believe in Him and what He has done for us.
This is our clear mandate from God – always be ready to give an answer for the hope that we have in Jesus. And this is not just a casual response; it’s a reasoned defense of our faith. We are to be able to give a clear and concise testimony of the Gospel and be able to defend it against any attack or objections. This is not an easy task, but it is a necessary one. The world is full of false teachers and false prophets, and they are always looking for new converts of their own. If we are not prepared to give a defense of our faith, then we will be easily led astray.
But don’t despair – we have the Holy Spirit to help us in this task. He will guide us and lead us into all truth:
In the book of 1 Peter, Peter is writing to a group of Christians in Asia Minor who are living in a time of persecution. He urges them to be holy in all their conduct and goes on to say that they should be obedient children, not conforming to their former lusts, or desires, as they did previously in their ignorance.
Most importantly, those of the Christian faith are God’s chosen people and they should pursue holiness regardless of the suffering and persecution they may be experiencing in their lives. Christians are to be submissive to their masters, and not just the ones that are good and gentle, but also to the harshest masters. Just as our Lord Christ suffered, we too must rejoice in our suffering and reflect His holiness to those around us.
Christians must be unified in rejecting evil and must do good, even when wronged.
1 Peter 3:15 fits into the message of the New Testament by continuing to show that we are to be witnesses for Christ. An effective witness does so with love and gentleness. It is a call to action for Christians to be intentional about living out their faith and sharing the hope that they have in Jesus Christ with those around them.
You must sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts and show Him a Godly fear.
The Holy Bible calls us to be prepared to answer for the hope that we have in Jesus, even to those that speak maliciously. We need to be ready to suffer for our faith, but we can do so with confidence knowing that we have the hope of eternal life with God.
It is not enough to arm ourselves merely with faith, we must be ready to explain and defend why we have such faith. While many may wish to learn about Christianity and the New Testament, many more may wish to tear it down; regardless, it is our job to be prepared to answer any questions with gentleness and respect.
Christian doctrine calls us to love God and that means living our faith intentionally. We need to be careful not to just go through the motions, but to truly live lives that reflect our hope in Christ. And when we live out our faith with good behavior, love, and gentleness, we will be more effective witnesses.
Our hearts regard Christ, not for righteousness’ sake, but because He is worthy of all honor and because we owe Him every act of worship and service.
For more on the book of 1 Peter, please reference our articles here.
This article references verses written from the King James Version (KJV), New International Version (NIV), New Living Translation (NLT), English Standard Version (ESV), and New King James Version (NKJV) translations of the Bible.