Daily Devotional 1 Peter 3: 15-17
How does having hope in our eternal future help us live for Christ today? In Evangelism as Exiles, Elliot Clark wrote about 1 Peter 3:15: “Peter wrote to encourage Asian believers with the hope of future glory, but he also expected that such hope would have an influence on those around them. He expected that their evident hope amid suffering would be the catalyst for many unbelievers to inquire about their faith.”
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
The “hope” in this verse is the same as earlier in the epistle— salvation (1:3, 13, 21). Believers are to be always ready “to give the reason for the hope that [we] have” (v. 15). Notice that evangelism and apologetics here are envisioned as answers to questions. We’re not told to shove the gospel down people’s throats or to debate anyone into agreement. Peter specified that we’re to share the hope that we have in Christ “with gentleness and respect.”
When we witness, both content (what we say) and method (how we say it) are important. We should give unbelievers no legitimate reason to criticize or slander us or the gospel (v. 16; 2:12). We can expect opposition, but we should keep a “clean conscience” and not sink to their level. After all, it’s better “to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (v. 17). It’s worth being a victim of injustice for the sake of the gospel, just as Christ was (v. 18).
Our outward witness is based on our inner commitment to revering Christ as Lord (v. 15). Evangelism is not optional. Witness must be part of the Christian life. If it isn’t, we’re failing to revere Christ as Lord or to honor Him as holy.
>> Listen to those around you today. You may notice an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. Given that fact, we encourage you today to pray for the salvation of an unbelieving friend and for an opportunity to share the gospel and the hope we have in Christ.
Pray with Us
Father, please distill in our minds the reasons we confidently place our hope in You. Give us an opportunity today to explain this hope to an unbeliever. Embolden us to speak freely.