Have you ever had someone ask you about your faith? What is it based on, why do you hold on to it? What is it all about? If so, what do you say to them? Do you have a ready reply that you can definitively share with them? Members of service organizations, (i.e. Elks, Rotary, Optimist) use catch phrases that identify them and their purpose. As Christians, we are called to the same task, “But in your hearts set apart 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.” 1 Peter 3:15
Are you prepared and know what to give as an answer? In our morning lesson last Sunday, we investigated the message of Peter to Cornelius, in Acts, chapter 10. In the span of less than two minutes Peter shared the message of the Gospel to a man who previously was considered as unclean to the children of Israel. We see first a person who would likely be receptive to the Gospel. The text of verse 35 says the person God welcomes is; one found in any nation (no partiality is given anymore), one who fears God (respects Him for Who He is), and does what is right (those things explicitly described in God’s word).
Let me ask… Do you fit that description? Does one who asks us about our faith fit this description? If so, what do you tell them? Let’s tell them the same thing Peter told Cornelius, a Roman centurion whose actions got the attention of our Sovereign God. Jesus was sent by God, His Father, preaching peace throughout all Judea beginning at His baptism by John, the Baptist. He did many good and miraculous things in His time with the children of Israel. All that He did was witnessed by those who wrote the New Testament, including His eventual death on a cross and His resurrection three days later, all in accordance with what prophets said would happen. Above all, those who believe in Him will receive forgiveness of sins. It’s as simple as that. In verse 47, we find Peter declaring that these should be baptized in Jesus’ name based upon their belief and actions. Tell them this.
Copyright © 2009, Nolan P. Rutter