What's The Best Way to Defend Your Christian Faith?
welcome to this episode of real Christianity my name is Dale Partridge reach week I offer 15 to 20-minute answers to tough the illogical and pastoral question this is 100% listener support audio Ministry of relearn. Org and for those who don't know our mission a tree learn.org is to educate and equip ordinary Christian to plant biblical confessional and missional house churches for more information just visit relearn. Org house so if you haven't noticed the culture is becoming increasingly hostile toward Christians and biblical values as the intensity Rises more and more of us will be required to defend our faith against those who challenge it but how is that really done or are we called to be capable of making an argumentation against every point of cultural contention do you need to know how to defend the scientific positions for being
 life or the theological argument for traditional marriage how to understand gender I'm going to be answering a lot of these questions and how we should be looking at this as Christians for begin I want to just make two quick announcements for this episode the first is about our program our companion Ministry stand in victory.org this is a wonderful program and how to break free from the bondage of pornography addiction or pornography use to the power of the Gospel if you are struggling with this we've had hundreds maybe even close to 1,000 but a hundred of people come through in the testimonies are just outstanding it's not because of our ministry of because of our program is because the word of God and the power of the gospel and setting people free from the bondage of sin you guys can check that out at standard victory.org also if you would like to support somebody who would like to enroll in the
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 the second thing I want to mention covid has caused thousands of Christians to explore the idea of House Church if that's you we believe that the best place to start is by downloading are free pdf it's called the basics of biblical House Church and you can get that a relearn. Org forward slash house this isn't something that'll give you all the instructions but it will lead you to the journey if you're interested in exploring that we all have our program you guys know at St Justin's. Org which is our full robust training program for those men who might be interested in plenty of shepherding a Biblical House Church look at it let's get to today's question it's from Luke in Gilbert Arizona I've been at Gilbert so thank you for your speciality Ask Pastor Dale recently I have been studying apologetics and an effort to give a defense for my faith as instructed in 1st Peter 3:15 however there are so many
 she is to learn how to defend can you help me focus on which issues matter most hair looks thank you for this question for those who are listening I'm going to read the passage of scripture that Luke referenced in his question it's 1st Peter 3:15 it reads but in your hearts honor Christ the lord as holy always be prepared to make an offense to anyone who asks who asked you for a reason for the hope that is in you yet do it with gentleness and respect for the word defense in the Greek is Apollo Gyan and it's where we get our word apologetics or the practice of defending the faith enough for a long time I subscribed to the same apologetic ideology essay Ravi Zacharias which is a cultural apologetics that props up or undergirds evangelism as Robbie would say it cultural apologetics are
 supposed to act in a way as a forerunner to the gospel the intent is to answer all the harder cultural and quasi theological or moral questions that are in the way of someone accepting or believing the gospel and the reason I follow that method for so long was because I believed it was my job and your job to present a defense for the faith war or persuade people to the faith probably better way to put it I believe that salvation was a choice that was made by people who have free will but the question I would ask you is this is our will ever free Jesus says in John 8:44 to unbelievers you are of your father the devil and your will is to do your father's desires 2nd Corinthians 4:4 says in their case the God of this world has blinded
 the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ finally Ephesians 2:1 through 3 says and you were dead.. That word dead right there is necrosis in the Greek which means corpse dead there's no other definition of that riches corpse or dead dead body and you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked following the course of this world following the prince of the power of the air the spirit that is now at work in the sons of Disobedience among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flect carrying out the desires of the body and the mind and we're by Nature children of Wrath like the rest of mankind so do unbelievers have free will know I have a will but is it free know that
 the date they have a wheel that's in bondage to sin and enslaved to the God of this world that has been the natural and moral result of the fall in Genesis chapter 3 and this is why even our good works are viewed as filthy rags sin we have to remember isn't just an act it's a condition that were in and so what I'm saying here is that went when I believed I could persuade free-will creatures to the kingdom of God I didn't understand the biblical doctrine of sovereignty or total depravity write the idea of having Free Will and having a sovereign God is a bit of a contradiction in a philosophical manner the only one who has a free will is God so let me explain this doctrine of total depravity just quickly which we can talk about this for hours but I'm going to read Romans 3
 11318 it says None is righteous no not one no one understands no one seeks forgot potential that no one seeks for God verse 12 all have turned aside together they have become worthless not not one does good not even one their throat is an open grave they use their tongues to deceive the Venom of asps is under their lips their mouth is full of curses and bitterness their feet are Swift to shed blood in their pads are ruin and misery and the way of peace they have not known there is no fear of God before their eyes at 1st Corinthians 2:14 says the natural person that is the coral person the the unbeliever cannot or does not accept the things of the spirit of God for they are falling to him and he is not a boy
 to understand them because they are spiritually discerned in other words there's nothing that you can do or say to change the heart of another person this is solely God's work you may be able to convince them of a logical argument on a morale matter but you cannot persuade a person to love God and come to Christ for salvation this is why Paul says in 1st Corinthians 3 6 through 7 I planted Apollos watered but God gave the growth to be there he who plants nor he who Waters is anything but only God who gives the growth this is also why Jesus said in John 3:3 truly truly I say to you unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God let alone get to the kingdom of God cuz you can't even see it. This teaches us that God must first
 cause someone to be born again before they even can hear the spiritual arguments that you're presenting for salvation which is the gospel that this is why Jesus would often say he who has ears to hear Let Him hear you know basically spiritual actions cannot occur before spiritual birth I want you to take this one to the bank in your brain here okay spiritual actions cannot occur before spiritual birth you can't exercise Saving Face or Genuine repentance with her spiritual actions before being spiritually born if you could exercise saving faith and genuine repentance before being spiritually born why would you need to be born again next you've already done the thing that justifies you and saves you which is have faith and repentance and so this is Chris
 call because you and I cannot burst new spiritual life in another person how much how much input or decision did you have in your first birth none right that's how much decision and say you have in your second birth none spiritual rebirth is a sovereign work of God and our cultural apologetics will not influence that process whatsoever Jesus even says in John 6:44 no one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws him a few verses later in 65 he says it again he says this is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the father in other words the only way a person can come to Christ is it the father ordained them to come to Christ and this is a major point
 I want you guys to understand here in regards to this question God is the sole cause of a person being born again and a heart being restored to love and see can you understand this in regards to this question you'll realize that it in a little actual persuasion on cultural topics is not an effective or biblically mandated practice for evangelism it's definitely not an alternative it's definitely not a replacement and I would say it's generally not as helpful as we might hope it would be now I'm not saying that God has not used cultural apologetics in the grand plan of a person's Redemption he may have done that I'm also not saying that we as Christians shouldn't present a logical and biblical evidence on moral issues like pro-life or gender creation fees things are really good things to Proclaim keep doing that but I am saying
 that cultural apologetics has never converted one soul and never will I'm also saying that cultural apologetics will add nothing to your ability to convert a person to Christ we might think that works because we're answering their concerns and questions around homosexuality or answering their concerns around you no objective morality or whatever it might be that we're actually moving things it out of the way so that we can actually just get them to that place with that week we can persuade them to Jesus. Is not
 that is not how it works according to scripture and you know basically you know I'm saying don't confuse apologetics with evangelism there is only one activity that the Lord has allowed us as Believers to participate in regarding the conversion of Souls and that is Gospel preaching and we know this because Romans 10:17 clearly states faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ and the word of Christ is what it's the gospel read the gospel message is the agent by which God has chosen to Midwife his children right in another words when we preach the gospel we in a sense are acting as the the voice of Christ calling his sheep to life they're born again by way of the Gospel that we preach
 he uses our our world that have our mouths which is they should only be the gospel which is the word of Christ to bring about faith and this is why Jesus says in John 10 2430 the Jews then gather round him and they were saying to him how long will you keep us in suspense if you're the crisis tell us plainly Jesus answered them and said I told you and you do not believe the works that I do in my father's name these testify me but you do not believe why because you are not of my sheep my sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me and I give them eternal life and they will never perish and no one will snatch them out of my hand my father who has given them to me pay attention that my father who has given them to me is greater than all and no one is able to snatch them out of my father's hand I and the father are one
 when we preach the gospel those who have been granted salvation by God the Father will hear his voice through your gospel preaching and they will follow Jesus and Jesus will keep them we are simply just the means by which God accomplishes his Redemptive work now what does that mean in regards to your question about apologetics it means that instead of learning all the sophisticated arguments against you know your abortion or pedophilia or creation or morality instead Focus all that energy and time in my opinion on learning the mechanics of the Gospel seeks to understand the gospel to such a degree that you can present it clearly and correctly and almost any circumstance instead of studying these philosophical
 ideas grind the beauty of the biblical theological doctrine of salvation what we call soteriology right so deep into your soul that you can communicated defended discuss it with you no more fit use it apply it as effectively as the Apostle Paul did be a bit be ready to to speak with children or with Bankers or with drug addicts or what the homeless are with the elderly you know you don't need to change the message for any of these groups you simply need to adjust the delivery for the message is the same the method might be slightly different in this is what that verse in 1st Peter 3:15 truly mean to give the reason for the hope that's in you and what's the reason for your hope it's not because you can explain away the Big Bang Theory it's not because you understand the argument for
 you know objective morality the reason you have ho it's the gospel you have hope because of the Gospel get what Peter is saying here is be prepared to present and explain and defend the gospel the thing to give you hope and do that with gentleness and respect this is our condition cultural apologetics are great they are an awesome tool to shift logical thinkers toward a more moral Society so I'm not shutting those away but changing Minds will never change Hearts only the gospel can change Hearts so if you're going to invest time and energy to learn all these sophisticated arguments Luke I would say no I would spend that time studying theology understanding the gospel so that you can better present the gospel to those people
 the Lord puts in your path that answers your question Luke I know it was a long you know background and explanation to get there but hopefully that was helpful for you come to leave you guys with a few resources and that you can find on the post page for this episode a tree learn.org this is episode number 106 and it's titled What's the best way to defend your Christian faith so great book to check out this conversion by Michael Lawrence at the little yellow book the next resource is a book titled expository apologetics answering objections with the power of the word this is by dr. voddie baucham and I think it's a great resource on what is biblical apologetics indifference to maybe a cultural apologetic that would be more like a Robbie Zacharias style and by the way I'm a major Robbie.
 fan in terms of really appreciated his ministry so don't think that I'm throwing him under the bus he's a fantastic man and I listen to probably several hundred of his podcast over the years and he has a very fruitful discussions to be listening to a but I just think this is important is that don't confuse apologetics with evangelism anyways. The ranch but the last the last resource I'm going to give is it's a video and it's called the essentials of the gospel and it's by Paul Washer again I think a lot of us need to understand what are those Essentials cuz the gospel so big what do I really need to talk to somebody about in order to present the gospel effectively regular listening to the show a thank you we would just ask that you would be willing to leave a review and you can do that by just tapping the stars and the podcast app that you don't have to write something
 but I would really appreciate it if you did write something the last thing is give us a follow on Instagram Instagram we have we put in up content several times per week we're doing theology quizzes were doing you no discussions polls great quotes funny theology memes all types of stuff in her Instagram Instagram account you can do. Just at relearn HQ on Instagram accounts a verified account you'll be able to find us there I think that's it for this episode I hope when this was a fruitful had a fine for you all I my name is Dale Partridge and I will see you next week
 thank you for listening to this episode of real Christianity if your regular listener to this show would you perfectly consider making a donation to support our ministry efforts simply visit relearn. Org donate again that's real learn.org for donate and for those looking to explore the idea of joining or planting a church in your home you can download our free pdf ebook titled the basics of biblical House Church by visiting relearn. Org house lastly do you have a theological question you would like answered on the show The Mayor question a tree learn.org for question thanks for joining us on this episode of real Christianity will see you next Wednesday