The Tabernacle Scroll
“Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you” [1Peter 3:15].
There are many sincere, well-meaning people (regular church goers) who mistakenly believe that all they are required to do to please God is to live a good Christian life. Now, far be it from me to denigrate the power of a life dedicated to good works and to the highest Christian standards. But let’s consider this fact for a moment: there are many non-Christians who live equally good lives (if not better), right? This begs the question, ‘if good moral standards were the criterion, would not every other religion have a legitimate claim to being the true faith’?
The force or power of a Christian’s good works and high moral standards is diminished if they are not accompanied by the testimony from their mouths. Let me explain. If we do not declare ourselves as the redeemed, through faith in Christ, then unbelievers (i.e. the world) will give credit for our clean moral lives to us individually. Then, however highly they might regard us, we will be nothing more than beautifully painted posters, drawing attention only to ourselves. If we are to be pointers to Christ, then we must also employ our tongues. That’s exactly what Peter is admonishing Christian believers to do. We are pointers to Christ, not to a religious system!
The believer’s ‘good works’ and ‘moral standards’ come out of the hope that he entertains about his future life. His hope is anchored in a salvation which is already his through belief in Christ Jesus as his Saviour. The unbeliever’s hope, on the contrary, is that his good moral behaviour will earn him favour with God. So, the believer’s works spring from his hope, but the unbeliever’s hope springs from his works. See the difference? The former’s hope is secure, whilst the latter’s hope is, at best, mere ‘wishful thinking’. All is contrast!
Peter puts the onus of verbal testimony upon the individual believer. For too long, Christians have been divided into ‘pew Christians’ and ‘pulpit Christians’ The onus of ‘preaching Christ’ has been left to the preacher, the evangelist and the like. The average Christian has been happily content to be ‘a silent partner’.
Christians everywhere need to stir themselves. When Jesus said, “Ye are my witnesses” he meant it for all of his followers. Now, have you considered that when you fail to do what he specifically commanded, you might in fact be showing disloyalty to him? Think about it!
Our lips as well as our lives must bear testimony of Christ! Will you say Amen?
www.kerysso.org-Preach The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues