‘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 NIV)
If you were in conversation with someone who wasn’t a Christian and they asked you, ‘what is it that you believe?’ how would you answer them?
Peter tells us we are to be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us of the hope we have, of the good news (the gospel) of the Christian message.
More than likely you will not have time to preach a sermon, nor would that be appropriate; so how would you sum up the Christian gospel succinctly and in an eye catching way?
Paul does so in just 10 words:
‘Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel’ (2 Timothy 2:8)
That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?
First of all remember it’s all about Jesus Christ.
As we all get older we can have difficulty remembering all sorts of things; but one thing we must never forget is that the Gospel is Jesus. He is the one who defeated Satan, undid Adam’s sin that has inflicted all humankind and has reconciled us to the Father, opening the way to life eternal in the New Heaven and New Earth.
Who is this Jesus?
He is the descendant of David. That’s Paul’s way of saying that Jesus is the Messiah, the Promised One, the fulfilment of the hopes and dreams, not only of Israel but of the entire world.
He is the Son of God, made flesh (John 1); fully God and fully man, who has brought us into the loving embrace of the Godhead.
We need to remember also what the world did to Him: His arrest, the illegal trials, the mockery, the ridicule, the scourging, and the crown of thorns. He endured all this for us. But that wasn’t all. He was nailed to a cross, not for His sins but for ours.
We need to remember!
We need to remember His words, “It is finished.” In the Greek it means, “Paid in full!” Your debt and my debt to God, has been paid in full by Jesus on the cross.
But we must also remember that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. His death and burial was not the end of the story. On the third day He rose from the dead.
Jesus is risen and alive forevermore.
This, Paul says,
“is my gospel,” this is
“my good news,” this is
“the hope I have”:
‘But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.’ (1 Corinthians 15:20–22)
Jesus Christ has conquered death and now humanity has the promise of eternal life.
Now that’s good news worth sharing.
Father, often the right words don’t come to mind when someone asks us of the hope we have. May your Spirit remind us, place on our tongues, and give us the desire to share the good news of Christ crucified and risen from the dead.
Have a good week sharing the gospel.