Dictionary.com defines defend as resist an attack made on (someone or something); protect from harm or danger. When was the last time your faith was under attack? Turn on the news or log-on to any social media outlet and I guarantee your faith will be under attack immediately.
When I originally expressed an interest in this thing called Apologetics, I got one of two responses from most people:
- Why does God need your help to defend the Christian faith?
- Is this just about proving you’re right and winning the argument?
Obviously, God does not need my help, and it’s not about winning an argument, but it is about winning something else. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about defending our faith. While there are many passages in scripture with a clear call to defend the faith, one of my favorite calls to action is in the book of Jude.
Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jude 3 & 4
One of the many things I love about the Bible, is that it is contemporary. What Jude describes as a problem in the first century church is still a problem in our day. Ungodly people have once again wormed their way into the church and are corrupting congregations. Often times we see those outside the church as the only offenders, however we must also be prepared from attacks from the inside.These false teachers are disguised, and we don’t see who they really are until they’ve persuaded many into sin. In order to recognize false teaching, we must be familiar with the truth.
Who is Called to Defend the Faith?
Me, you, all of us.
It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.
Who do we need to defend it from?
From those who oppose:
And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.
2 Timothy 2:24-25
From those who persecute you:
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
From those who cause division:
Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.
What’s the point?
To teach sound doctrine:
He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
To be obedient to Christ:
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
To lead the lost into saving grace:
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.
2 Timothy 4:3-4
Still not convinced?
We are all called to preach the word and be ready, whether it’s convenient or not.
I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.
2 Timothy 4:1-2
Are you actively seeking to grow your knowledge of the Word? Is your defense ready?
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