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What is Apologetics?

The Bible answers this question by describing a Christian Apologist is one who is, "always prepared to give an answer" (1 Peter 3:15).  He is a, "workman who correctly handles the Word of Truth" (2 Timothy 2:15)He encourages others through the use of sound doctrine and, "refutes those who oppose it" (Titus 1:9).  He is called to, "contend for the faith," (Jude 3) and "reason from the Scriptures" (Acts 17:2-3).

John Warwick Montgomery, in his book, Faith Founded on Fact, explains the relationship between the Apologist and the Holy Spirit, when he writes, "The Apologetic task is warranted not as a substitute for faith, but as a foundation for faith; not as a replacement for the working of God's Spirit, but as a means by which the objective truth of God's Word can be plainly seen."

Norman Geisler, writing in The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, explains, "The relationship, between reason and evidence on the one side and the Holy Spirit on the other is complementary.  It is the Holy Spirit working in and through evidence to convince people of the truth of Christianity."

Apologetics in Action

A  Divine  Appointment   --   a  call  "to   do   good  works,  which   God  prepared  in   advance  for   us   to   do

(Ephesians 2:10) -- might come suddenly and unexpectedly.  However, with study and preparation, we can be ready to confidently witness to the person or persons that God has placed in our path.  "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).

What does this look like?  You might be called upon to plant a seed of truth, which God may cause to grow into salvation.  Or, perhaps you will water the seed by instructing a new believer in the essentials of the historic Christian faith.  "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow" (1 Corinthians 3:6).  Possibly you'll have an opportunity to build good works on a foundation of sound doctrine that was already laid.  "By the grace  God  has  given  me,  I   laid  a  foundation  as  an expert builder, and someone else is building on it"(1 Corinthians   3:10).  Or God might give you the privilege of harvesting -- leading a soul into the Kingdom of God.  But, whatever tasks you've been assigned, it's important to remember that we all labor together as one body, not for our own sakes, but for the glory of God.  "Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together" (John 4:36).  "Now to the King   eternal,    immortal,   invisible,   the   only   God,   be  honor  and   glory   for  ever  and   ever.   Amen"

(1 Timothy 1:17).

 

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