Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

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    New York, NY
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BAC Sermons

Apologetics: Reason for the Hope

2010-04-11 1 Peter 3:13-15



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13 who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. "And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled." 15 But sanctify/set apart Christ as Lord Isa 8:13 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 (non-retaliation) and fear (of God) Isa 8:13 The Lord Almighty is the One you are to regard as holy, He is the one you are to fear, He is the one you are to dread,

I. The Hope of believers is their Reward

1:3 born again to a living hope 4 to an inheritance reserved in heaven for you 5 kept by the power of God thru faith for salvation to be revealed 7 testing of your faith..result in praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Christ

II. Reward is Reaped thru

13 Be mentally tough..soundminded (life governed by reason rather than passions/feelings), and set your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 17 Father..judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear (caring most about what pleases God); 2:11... abstain from fleshly desires which war against the soul,12..conduct honorable..glorify God 13 submit 19 praiseworthy, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.20 what credit? do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called (inherit a blessing) 4:2 live no longer lusts of men, but the will of God.

In order to consistently seek and faithfully do the will of God (follow the Lord Jesus Christ as His disciple):

We must focus on our purpose (loyally glorify God and sacrificially do what is in another's highest interest=love),

developing Biblical objectives and goals under Christ's Lordship (not WWJD, but WWJWMTD),

and then daily pursue that course with grace, wisdom and fellowship, in dependence upon the Holy Spirit

When wronged (as Christ was) we must respond as Jesus did and would want us to, usually doing good & suffering for doing good, Ps 34

1Pt 3:9 not returning evil for evil...but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

III. Apologetics helps people move from a conglomeration of concepts to conclusions and then convictions about Truth/Reality.

Mk 12:30 you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.'

  • Classical rational arguments/logic proof; uses evidence Augustine, Aquinas, Geisler, W Craig, Moreland, Sproul, Schaeffer*, CS Lewis*
  • Teleological Plato, Cosmological Aristotle, Ontological Anselm bible.org/series/faith-has-its-reasons apologetics315.blogspot.com
  • Evidential historical evidences/empirical defense: miracles, fulfilled prophecies, resurrection Warfield, J W Montgomery, Pinnock
  • Presuppositional argues from depravity perspective and “faith” to change to conformity to Bible Calvin, Van Til, Kuyper, Bahnsen, Frame
  • Fideism exclusive/basic reliance upon “faith” alone, existential; disparage reason Luther, Pascal*, Kierkegaard, W James, Wittgenstein, Plantinga, Barth

A. How do we know what's True? Sincerity, Belief, Experience (senses suspect, filters faulty), Majority opinion, Reason are all limited.

B. Truth=that which best explains all the facts, found at the convergence of Revelation, Reason, and Reality What's more reasonable?

C. Material or immaterial world? The only way a finite being can know infinite Truth is if an infinite Being communicates/reveals it

D. If we're not eternal, accidental (monkeys can't type), or self caused, we're dependent creatures.

E. A Creator with the power to create, would have the power to communicate and preserve that communication so the creatures could understand it (and would do so if there is a purpose for our existence and we're held accountable to the Revelation).

F. Is there any evidence of a supernatural being who can walk and talk? See Seven Basic Discussions esp historical and MSS evidence

G. Any such communication would be universally valid and vital, world and life changing, resulting in solutions to life's problems.

Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response: Is this all there is?

  1. Why should Jesus be Lord? If He's not Lord of all, is He Lord at all? Is Lordship a one time dedication or daily decision? Lk 9:23
  2. Does how we respond to unjust treatment affect our future? What difference does it make if we don't respond correctly?
  3. Does God use dialogue and discussion about Truth to help people believe and grow in their Christian faith? Is faith rational? Heb 11:6
  4. How have you prepared yourself to give a reasoned response to questions/challenges to your beliefs and actions? How will you?
  5. Would your response to undeserved suffering prompt others to ask you a reason for the hope that is in you? What is your hope?