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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
The Sixth Sunday Of Easter
A Christian Apology"
Rev. Wayne Dobratz
1 Peter 3:15-22
Its a skill we all need to master if we wish to get along with people. You
need to recognize when youre wrong and to apologize for it. Its a survival
skill. Knowing how to apologizewe call it "repentance"is one of
the most important things Christians donot only to one another, but
especially to God. I invite you to think about OFFERING A CHRISTIAN APOLOGY.
Im thinking of the word "Apology" in two senses of the word 1)
Repenting when you sin and 2) When asked about the hope that you have in Christ.
The word "apology" not only means being sorry when you sin; its main
meaning in ancient times was to give a defense of what you believe.
A CHRISTIAN APOLOGY
When you sin
"Repentance" is the word most often usedIt means "to change
means to turn, implying a change in behavior. It is turning
sin toward God." (Handbook of Bible Application) As in 1 Kings
Ps. 106:6ff; Jer. 3:25-4:2; Daniel 9:5f.
Repentance means to die to sin in Baptism and to rise to new life with
Christtext, vv. 18-22
die to sin, as in Rom. 6:1-3. See also Gal. 5:24, Col. 3:3, 1 Pet. 2:24
be raised with Christ in newness of lifesee Rom. 6:4ff. See also Lk. 15:24,
Rom. 8:11, Eph. 2:6, Col. 3:1.
To give a defense when asked about your hope in Christ, text v.15
word1 Peter 3:15-16, as in Mk. 5:18-19, 2 Tim. 1:8. Whenever we confess in
the Creed that Christ "descended into Hell" we are joining him in
declaring victory over evil and the evil onevv.18-19
deed1 Peter 2:10-12, as in Matt. 5:16, James 2:18; also Matt. 5:13, 1Thess.
Lenski writes: "In the face of suffering the readers must sanctify the Lord
Christ. ... To sanctify Christ is our hearts is to keep him in our hearts as the
holy one. In order to do that we ourselves must be holy, i.e. sanctified. He is
ours and we are his; we separate him for our hearts and are separated for him.
That means that we keep ourselves from sin and give the world no cause for
slandering either him or ourselves. It further means that we fear him alone,
lest we sin against him by fearing men and by letting their threats prevent us
from bowing to him alone.
hearts that are ever sanctifying Christ the readers face their opponents.
Ready always for a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope
that is in you. This is the living hope mentioned in 1:3 and it comprises all
that we expect from God on the basis of Christ. Apologia is the regular
term for a defense which a defendant makes before a Judge. He must first be
heard. Peter is not thinking only of court trials. ...Let whoever will
constitute himself a Judge, the Christian is never to evade or put him off, he
is to be ready to present his case, his defense, to render account as to what
his hope embraces, and as to why he holds it in his heart. We may say that he is
to be ready always to testify, to correct ignorance about Christ, to spread the
Gospel light, to win others for Christ...."
Ministry Health Sermon
Copyright 2002 Ministry Health, LLC
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:32 PM