In 1 Peter 3:15 believers are told always to be prepared “to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you.” There are also about 17 references to defending the gospel in the New Testament. As Christians, we have both a duty and should have a desire to know as much as we can about God so that we can pass that on to others, even the most ardent skeptics.
For many years I have had a keen interest in Christian apologetics. Over the past few years as I have had opportunity to read (listen to) over a hundred books, it would not be hard to believe that half of them deal with some aspect of apologetics. For example, I read all nine of Lee Strobel’s books, of which eight deal with apologetics. I have read books by all the leading apologists, read lots of articles from Answers in Genesis, and watched many interesting debates on YouTube.
I’ve told a few people, but only a few. I am interested in being an apologist. God, in His usual sovereign manner, thought he would give me a test. How interesting that Tuesday night at our kid’s Connect Bible Club, one of the misbehaved yet intelligent guys in my 4th grade+ boys class began to list off questions — the hard questions — those that take more than a sentence reply and more understanding than what we hear every Sunday at church. He then interjected that people always brush those questions off and get around the questions (sigh…that is a pet peeve of mine too). That’s when I piped up. I got his attention and very clearly told him that if he wrote down his questions, I would answer every single one next class….oh boy. Did I just say that?
I need to ask you to pray for me, and the other teachers Derric and Nate. We need wisdom. The answers are available, and I feel we will be capable in giving them, but how do we break them down? How do we make them see the clear truth? I think we all know the answer — the Holy Spirit. I ask you pray that the Holy Spirit would speak through us and speak to them in a very powerful way on Tuesday, October 6th.
I admit, my problem is that I can read and read, but I can’t store it very well unless I read something several times. I think that is normal, but then again, there is the gift of knowledge (aka wisdom) that I wish I had.
What is the gift of knowledge? The following excerpt is taken from SpiritualGiftsTest.com.
“The spiritual gift of knowledge is also known as the “word of knowledge” or “utterance of knowledge.” The Greek word for this gift is Gnosis and it simply means knowledge and understanding. The Scriptural emphasis in 1 Corinthians 12:8 is on the ability to speak this knowledge to others in a given situation. In the opening passages of 1 Corinthians, Paul spoke of knowledge and recognized that the highest form of knowledge among men is the Gospel of Jesus Christ (i.e. the testimony about Christ, cf. 1 Corinthians 1:4-7). What we can conclude then is the gift of knowledge is an understanding of the things in this world and in our lives that is founded in the Gospel and rooted in the Scriptures. This gift is closely related to the gift of wisdom which is alluded to by Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.
The Holy Spirit gives this spiritual gift to some believers to bring about understanding and to inform the church or individual believers. The person with this gift is usually well-versed in the Scriptures and often has much committed to memory. They can retain the truth and communicate it effectively at the appropriate times. The gift of knowledge allows a believer to relate the Scriptures, and particularly the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to all aspects of life in this world. They can see how it connects to every situation and circumstance and how the reality and truth of the Gospel is to inform every decision a Christian makes.”
When I think of people with the gift of knowledge I think especially of two ministers at my church, George Churchfield and Paul Shirk. To me it seems that they remember everything they have ever read (they deny this claim)! I am very thankful for people like them who mentor and inspire me.
I believe the important thing again is to rely on the Holy Spirit. After all, it is a “gift of the Spirit.” It is a result of the Spirit in a life that allows Him to use, or strengthen, his or her abilities in a particular area. So again I am reminded to rely on the Spirit of God.
What about you? What will you say the next time someone asks you how you know there is an afterlife, or how you know evolution isn’t true, or why Jesus really had to die to forgive our sins, or what does God look like, or How do you know God is real, or why are there so many Bible translations?
I believe it is our duty as Christians to be well-versed in answers to questions like that. If you can’t answer those questions, don’t panic. But I do encourage you to do some research. The answers are not as tough as they may sound.
Just like I am learning, be sure to rely on the Holy Spirit. Have the balance of prayer, preparation, and reliance on God, and I believe we will have the answers that change a person’s eternal destination.