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When hearts are yielded to God

…but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. Yet do this with gentleness and reverence, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused, those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame. 1 Peter 3:15-16 CSB

In response to fear and intimidation, Peter tells believers “In your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy.” Peter quoted and revised Isaiah 8:13, “The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy” (NIV). The same name and title given to the God of Israel, “LORD Almighty” is attributed to Jesus Christ here in the New Testament to emphasize His deity. Because of Christ’s deity, Peter emphasizes that He deserves to be regarded as holy, set apart to be revered, believing that God is in control of every circumstance. Hence, from the previous verse, “Do not fear them or be intimidated” (1 Peter 3:14). With Christ as the anchor in the believer’s heart, there is no fear of death, for there is hope in the future, the “hope that is in you,” which is heaven. Biblical commentator Philip Yancy wrote, “When we awake in the new heaven and new earth, we will possess at last whatever we longed for. Somehow, from all the bad news, incredible good news emerges—a good without a catch in it somewhere. Heaven and earth will again work the way God intended. There is a happy ending after all.” The living hope within Christians (see 1 Peter 1:3) is so different from the emptiness of the world, that non-Christians will be puzzled and ask what makes them different. In those moments, Christians have opportunities to share the gospel hope, not answering with vileness or pride, but “with gentleness and reverence.” Answering in such a manner, giving a “clear conscience,” meaning that one does not have to be fearful of any revenge due to the kindness in the response. By acting and speaking in such a way, Peter promises that the truth will come to light, whether it will be in this life or the next at the presence of Christ’s judgment. The hope is that by one’s actions of kindness, the hearts of those who accuse you will soften and change, sharing the grace and mercy that Christians also had experienced themselves. This is why Christians must consecrate Christ in their hearts. When our hearts are yielded to Christ, our fear is overcome and our conduct reflects the LORD Almighty that we serve.

Song suggestion:

Ryan Stevenson – Eye of the Storm


Isaac De Guzman

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