1 Peter – Chapter Three XVIII

by Ed Urzi

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).

While every Biblical passage is important, some verses carry greater significance. 1 Peter 3:15 is one such verse. Given the importance of this passage, we will work our way slowly and methodically through this verse in order to grasp its meaning and application.

While this exhortation to “give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” typically draws the most attention, it is important to ensure that we do not overlook the preceding portion of this verse. To illustrate, the Apostle Peter employed two key words as he urged his readers to “…sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.

The first word is “sanctify.” Among the synonyms for “sanctify” are words like “consecrate,” “hallow,” or “separate.” This word signifies a place or object that is set apart for God. It also conveys the idea of something that is completely devoid of impurity. The second word is “heart.” This word is represented by the word kardia in the original language of this passage. It also forms the basis for our modern-day word “cardiac.” Kardia refers to our innermost being in a physical, spiritual, or emotional sense.

This passage thus presents us with an important application: those who sanctify the Lord God in their hearts are well-positioned to defend what they believe and why. That brings us to our second point: fulfilling the mandate of 1 Peter 3:15 does not require an exhaustive degree of Biblical knowledge. Remember that there are sixty-six books, eleven-hundred and eighty-nine chapters, and over thirty-one thousand verses in a standard Bible. It is unlikely that anyone has perfectly memorized each of those verses. Nor is it possible for any one person to provide a comprehensive answer to every spiritual question that others may raise.

If we encounter a Biblical question we can’t answer, we can view that inquiry as an opportunity to add to the Biblical knowledge we already possess. Then, as we seek good answers to sincere questions, we can build upon that foundation for the benefit of all. Biblical scholars have thoroughly explored and answered the majority of difficult spiritual questions throughout the centuries- and access to those answers is now easier than ever in today’s information age. A delayed (but well-researched) response to a good spiritual question is always better than a hasty and ill-considered reply.