June 26, 2011

Living Witness

1 Peter 3:13-22

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
1 Peter 3:15


The Christian’s great privilege is to be a living witness of Jesus Christ! But each of us must ask, “Why would I ‘revere Christ as Lord’ and place hope in him?”

Here are my reasons.

First, consider Christ’s care over us, his children. The gentleness and respect I am called to exercise is itself a testimony of Jesus. When he saw crowds, he was filled with compassion (Matthew 9:36).

Second, consider Christ’s cleansing. Just as the flood in Noah’s day symbolized the cleansing and renewal of creation (Genesis 6-9), baptism in Christ symbolizes the cleansing and renewal of life through his death and resurrection (Romans 6:111). Christ’s caring forgiveness renews life and stirs hope.

Finally, consider Christ’s call. He rules all creation and will set it free from the dehumanizing effects of sin and evil. In fact, judgment involves his care and cleansing that invites all to live in the full beauty and blessing of true life!

Some may resist or ridicule our witness to Christ as the world’s one true hope. That alone is reason to “always be prepared.” Is there any better answer than to share him who is able to help us because he suffered the same betrayal, abuse, temptations, and fear we daily experience (Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:15)?

Are you a prepared witness?

Lord Jesus, equip us to be living witnesses for you. Help us to care as you cared, to forgive as you forgave, and to wisely hope in your return. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Calvin Hoogendoorn

Rev. Calvin Hoogendoorn serves as senior pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Previously he served two churches in Illinois. He and his wife, Carla, have three daughters.

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