Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Teaching With Meekness

The apostle Peter wrote eloquently of the need to defend the faith in his first general epistle. He wrote not only of the need to share that defense, but also the demeanor expected of one who makes such a defense. “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).

As we share the precious good news with others, we need to be meek, and fearful.

The idea of answering a query concerning our hope with fear, in this context, indicates respect or reverence. Our discussions of the word of God should never be held in the context of flippancy or accommodation. Too many talk of their faith as something which can be taken or left at the discretion of the hearer. When we defend our hope, we need to make it clear to the hearer that these are matters of eternal consequence, and we will one future day stand before the great Judge of the universe to receive “the things done in the body, according to what [we] have done, whether good or bad” (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10).

The first of the two descriptives deserves our attention in this short article. We are to give an answer with meekness. As Clinton Hamilton, in his commentary on 1 Peter wrote, “There is to be the demeanor of complete submission to God and with considerateness and courtesy to the one to whom he is speaking. There is to be no harshness and arrogance shown. It is to be with calm reflection that demonstrates one’s allegiance to, and reliance on, God” (pg. 167). Thayer indicates that the greek term for meekness used in the text, (praotes), never intimates an attitude of condescension from a superior to an inferior. In other words, we do not answer as one who is better than our querist, but as one who realizes our saved condition is based upon what God has done for us, not what we have accomplished by merit.

The practical application of this is easily seen. A preacher of the gospel should never preach to show off his knowledge; rather, his purpose in preaching is to share his knowledge! Those who do not understand this fundamental truth are doomed to be ineffective in their ministry to the lost. No one likes to be shown up, but all appreciate being helped. It should be our purpose to let God’s word shine through us, understanding that, “neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:7).

The highest compliment you can receive is not, “Boy, you sure are smart!”; rather, it is, “Boy, you sure made that easy to understand!” As we show love and compassion for the lost, humbly presenting ourselves to them not as superiors, but as equals, “considering [ourselves] lest [we] also be tempted” (cf. Galatians 6:1), we will have the required demeanor to be effective in the saving of souls. That, and that alone, is the purpose we have in giving “a reason for the hope” that is in us.