Theme Scripture: 1 Pet. 3:15
To give an answer – Apologia
A verbal defense of why you believe what you believe.
To this intent, the believer must study to show himself approved before God. 2Tim. 2:15
Bible apologetics involves giving a verbal or written defense of scripture about a particular position.
Apologetics is the basic foundation of Epistolic writings in the scriptures.
Phil 1:17 – the defense of the gospel.
The scriptures are not to only be proclaimed but defended logically, gently and patiently.
Apologetics in the scriptures mainly concerned a defense of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus against legalism and mixture
The book of Galatians is a Chief Text on apologetics where Paul defended his gospel in the presence of peter and the Galatians leaders.
From the book of Galatians we can see that to defend the scriptures properly you must do the following:
1. Understand the audience before whom you are making a defense.
In Galatians Paul was defending the gospel before believers who were ministers so he uses the written word as his basis for his defense because they accepted its authority.
He quoted the law, the prophets because they regarded it as sacred.
The approach wasn’t the same in Athens Acts 17:22 – 28
In Athens, he uses creation and the poems of their poets to launch his defense of the gospel.
He never quoted the Torah even once when speaking with them.
Stephen when defending the gospel in Acts 7 quotes from the scriptures copiously because the audiences were Jews.
Before believers our apologetics would centre mostly on the following:
1. Doctrinal issues – Eternal Salvation, Deliverance, Restitutions, etc
Before unbelievers, our apologetics would centre on the following issues.
1. Bible Inerrancy: Can the scriptures be trusted? Is the Bible the word of God? How accurate are the historical events recorded therein? Authorship and dates of biblical books, biblical canon and the rules of canonization
2. Creationism Vs Evolution – Did God create the world in 6 days? Does the Bible pass as an archaeological document? Can we use it to speak to scientific facts?
3. Is there a God? If yes where is he? Why doesn’t he intervene in the evil on the earth?
4. The reality of Jesus – Birth, burial, and resurrection. Did he really die? Did he rise from the dead? (In this we resort to scriptures and other verifiable historical documents that attest to his existence)
5. The reality of sin and why it is a serious thing before God
Now let’s examine a typical topic that would require a defense.
We will take a few but start with Salvation.
Salvation being broad as many schools of thought.
1. Works gospel: This refers to a salivation philosophy that insists that salvation is initially not eternal and is only perfected via works. This maintains that man must work for salvation in order to keep it
2. Prosperity Gospel: This refers to the set of teaching that insists that Jesus died for men to be materially wealthy in this life. This maintains that the blood of Jesus was primarily shed for men to become financially rich and have a change in status
3. Limited Atonement:
This refers to a limit in the number of people saved by election of Grace.
Teaching made popular by Jehovah’s witnesses.
Now lets us now give an apologia of the gospel against the works gospel.
1. Salvation is by Grace alone through faith independent of works. Eph 2:1-8, Rom 1:16-18
2. Whosoever believes is saved. John 3:15-16, Rom 3:22-25
3. A man is justified, made righteous by faith without works. Rom 3:28, Rom 4:3-6, Rom 5:1
4. Faith for salvation comes by hearing not by working. Rom 10:17
5. Not by works lest any man should boast. Eph 2:9
Now we have mentioned what the scriptures say about salvation being solely by faith in Christ.
We now have to examine and explain the scriptures of those who defend a works gospel affirm.
It is important to understand that a works gospel basically is any teaching that includes human effort as a basis of securing salvation. It is any Jesus + anything gospel to get or stay saved!
Now let’s look at the following.
Phil 2:12-13. Hebrews 6:1-6, Mathew 7:21-23, Eph 5:1-7
Apologia against the prosperity gospel.
What is the prosperity Gospel? It is the teaching that espouses that the reason for Christ’s death was to make men materially rich.
Anything man could get before the sacrifice of Jesus isn’t why he died.
The reason for Christ’s death is clear. He died for sins Isaiah 53:3-7, 1John 2:2, Gal 1:4
So he gave himself for our sins.
His death was for sins.
His resurrection was for our justification. Rom 4:25
Offenses – paraptoma – which refers to sins.
Though the purpose of Christ’s death isn’t prosperity, it is clear that God doesn’t author lack.
He is a God that provides more than is necessary for men. When he provides it’s always more than enough!
James 1:5: He gives liberally and does not find fault.
Gen 1:22 – He ordains increase and multiplication. Gen 9:1, Deut 2:7, Deut 8:18.
Deut 16:17 – it is the blessing of the lord that causes a material increase
Prov. 10:22 – the blessing of the Lord makes rich.
God prospers! He is a God of increase but this is not why the blood of Christ was shed.
It was shed for sins.
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