Why Study to Defend the Faith?
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – (2 Corinthians 10:5)
I have been told again and again, by pastors, that defending the faith is somehow irrelevant or separate from preaching the gospel. They’ll see me working on or reading something connected to defending the faith of Christ as found in the scriptures and immediately they tell me, almost before they have had a chance to think “Our main job is to preach to Gospel!” Now I’m sure they mean that the Gospel is the center of the scripture, but where in Scripture does it say that we should not bother with defending the faith or that to do so is somehow separate from preaching the faith?
Indeed the Scripture commands us, again and again, to defend the faith and never makes the separation between preaching or defending the gospel. Below is a short defense of the defense of scriptures and quite a few scriptures that in fact, command us to defend the faith
Why defend the faith? There is more to Christianity than going to church, having fun times, and social networking, though these certainly have their place. We are also commanded in the Scriptures themselves to defend the Faith “once delivered to the saints”, both privately and in the public arena. We are not trying to prove our faith, just be able to defend it.
This might be important considering the new statistics that show that kids are falling away from the faith in record numbers, including kids who attend church. All the fun times, emotional moments, and other entertainment can’t compete with 40 hours a week at public school of constant “facts” or philosophies which are presented in a way to make the bible appear to be an obscure and archaic book which is just not relevant to today’s world. This is not always intentional but that doesn’t make it any less misleading or harmful.
The Bible is not irrelevant, it is the word of God, and in fact is much easier to defend than a secular (atheist) worldview, in that it describes the world around us with far more accuracy than the secular atheist view. Though the idea of defending the faith might make some of us nervous and uncomfortable, we should be careful not to let this discourage us. By speaking truth in love we help others to see the reality of God, and the importance of the Scripture. The scriptures below are a few that show the apostles defending the faith, or command us to defend the faith, there are many more.
Jude 1:3- “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you, urging that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.”
Acts 18:24- “Now a Jew named Apollos…was mighty in the Scriptures…and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue.” 18:28 “For he powerfully refuted the Jews (Those rejecting Jesus as Messiah) in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.”
Acts 19:8, 9, 10 – “And he (Paul) entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when many were hardened, and believed not…he…separated the disciples, debating daily in the school… And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus.”
1Tim. 2:15-“Study to show yourself approved as workman unto God who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”