Post Modern Mindset (#1)
So we’ve memorized 1 Timothy 4:7 b and 8, John 8:31b and 8:32 and we’ve looked at knowing and living the will of God as revealed in Romans 12:1-2. One important fact about Scripture memorization is if you want to retain it, you have to use it. I decided to take a quick field trip as to the significance of living the will of God in light of the truth that “sets us free” by examining this in light of the “Post Modern Mindset”. These Scriptures will give us traction in responding to a mindset that is prevalent, even among professing Christians.
We live in a time that truth has been called into question and any strong belief pointing to believing any absolute truth (heaven, hell, sin, only one way to go to heaven, if you are male or female etc.) is called arrogant or not tolerant at best. We will spend (quite) a few weeks on not-so subtle undermining’s of living out the truth of scripture in a culture that is not only not interested in knowing the truth that sets them free or living in light of it but are actually violently opposed to it. You’ll notice at the onset the reason Scripture calls us to engage this issue.
To begin I want to explain the thought (biblical) process as to why we are be able to give an answer for this hope, but I also want to explain that probably there are subtle points of this un-sound theology that you’ve bought into unknowingly. First off we will establish why we need to respond and secondly we want to establish how and with what we are to respond.
14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. (I Pet 3:14-15)
The only portion I really want you to memorize is verse 15 but verses 14 and 16 give us a better understanding of why Peter said what he said. Now notice in context Peter is explaining how we should suffer. We don’t have to fear suffering…even for the sake of righteousness? In the light of this suffering though Peter explains what our response should be. We don’t have to fear but we are actually honor Christ, literally an imperative, a command to honor Christ by being able to make a defense to anyone who asks you for the hope that is in you. So what is this hope we have? Is it a vague “all roads lead to Heaven hope”? Or is it a hope on anything other than the exclusivity of Jesus death and resurrection on the behalf of all who would receive Him by faith. Is it a hope in your ability to work your way to Heaven when Paul proclaimed it to be a gift and not by works (Eph 2:8-9). Is it a hope that you don’t want to dogmatic about because that wouldn’t be very loving when Paul explained the very definition of love involved not delighting in unrighteousness but rejoicing with the truth (1Cor 13:4-8)? If it is, or perhaps you’re not comfortable defending that, this is where we need to buckle down and ask the hard questions about what Scripture says. As we wrestle with these questions and more we need to look back at our first few memory verses (John 8:31b-32 and Rom 12:1-2) and understand that by God’s design He is revealing our hearts by His Word (Heb 4:12). If we stand at odds with His word, we are actually standing at odds with Him…not a good place to stand. More on this later.
Notice also in context, Peter goes on to explain that we do it with gentleness and respect. Since this is an imperative, we don’t have to pray whether or not we are going to do it. We will have to ask for the strength to do it, for me especially with gentleness and respect. But do it we must. The question is that after having memorized this verse and meditated on it will we obey and do it. The Post Modern mindset is so prevalent that we will have to do our homework (the hard work 1 Tim 4:7) to be able to give an answer, but give it we must.
Excellent message Alan – can’t tell you how much God is using your blog to help me.