Facing the Court
…but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.
1 Peter 3.15
I do not know of anyone who favors “going to court.” Even if you are serving jury duty, the thought of “going to court” is not appealing. You believe other matters need more attention than your service on a jury in court. “Going to court” is often due to a summons to appear to give defense for your actions. There is an opposing side to your belief. You believe it happened one way, they believe it happened another. You are not placed as a judge, but as someone who must give a defense of your thoughts, attitudes, or behaviors.
If you were called into a court where a spiritual defense is given about your belief in God, could you do it? Have you witnessed His purpose in your life? Is there additional proof you could provide besides your life proving GOd’s existence? Would your stand in defense of God be a compelling case to support your beliefs?
Before a court meets, both sides are given ample time to prepare for the trial date. No one is without excuse for not being ready. Every Christian is given sufficient time (Ephesians 5.16-17) to understand the will of God and be absolutely certain his or her belief will stand the floods of opposition (Matthew 7.24-27). A Christian’s belief can be solidified by his or her reading and study (2 Timothy 2.15; 2 Peter 3.18) and prayer (James 1.5).
With the trial every Christian will face in defense of his or her faith, there is not a “scheduled court appearance.” The appearance in trial will in front of family members, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. A Christian faces these individuals daily. There will be questions of insult and curiosity. There will be statements of mockery or disdain. A defense of faith in response is not a “prepared statement” for a “press conference.” It is not a traditional statement a Christian pulls from the past or quotes from the Restoration Movement.
A disciple’s defense comes from his/her assurance of whom he or she believes (2 Timothy 1.12). It is the answer with conviction and reverence for God, who has given us the blessing of being a member of His kingdom. Our response is in hope those who hear will see the Lord in us. Our faith is not ashamed to be tried. It does not ask for a trial, but it is prepared to defend itself. It has no shame. It has no fear. It has one objective: To glorify the One who gave us hope - Jesus. Answering for your hope is what keeps your faith alive.