Giving an answer for your Hope

SERMON TOPIC: Giving an answer for your Hope

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 15 July 2018


Sermon synopsis: 1 Peter 3:15 In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

The Bible presumes that people are going to be asking us about the hope we have. Peter doesn’t say occasionally be prepared in case some people ask you, no, we are always to be prepared for everyone who asks us.

The word translated “give an answer” – is apologia, which is nothing to do with apologising, but instead means: “to make a defence like a lawyer.” Some hear the word “apologetics” and think they’ve got to get a degree before they can talk to others about their Faith and that’s not for them, but Peter says, that being prepared to give an answer is for us all.
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Giving an answer for your Hope.

1 Peter 3:15.

In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

The Bible presumes that people are going to be asking us about the hope we have.

Peter doesn’t say occasionally be prepared in case some people ask you, no, we are always to be prepared for everyone who asks us.

The word translated “give an answer” – is apologia, which is nothing to do with apologising, but instead means: “to make a defence like a lawyer.”

Some hear the word “apologetics” and think they’ve got to get a degree before they can talk to others about their Faith and that’s not for them, but Peter says, that being prepared to give an answer is for us all.

Giving an answer for your Hope.

So when someone asks you something like:

How can an Italian still believe in a God after that dreadful earthquake last week?


Hasn’t science disproved God?

You want to have done some work ahead of time, so you’ll know where you start. And if you don’t know, say you don’t know, and promise to get back to them on that one. Don’t just say what you believe, say why you believe it

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 2.

In his entry for 19 June, 1906, the author gives his thoughts about the character of the God of the Bible.

It quickly becomes apparent that Mark Twain has little use for this God:

In the old Testament His acts expose His vindictive, unjust, ungenerous, pitiless and vengeful nature constantly.

He is always punishing—punishing trifling misdeeds with thousand-fold severity; punishing innocent children for the misdeeds of their parents; punishing unoffending populations for the misdeeds of their rulers; even descending to wreak bloody vengeance upon harmless calves and lambs and sheep and bullocks, as punishment for inconsequential trespasses committed by their proprietors.

Richard Dawkins.

The words of Mark Twain bring to mind the tirade of atheist Richard Dawkins:

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction:

jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully (The God Delusion).

How can we share our hope with people like Mark Twain and his contemporary counterparts such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett?

Giving an answer for your Hope.

We need to read Mark Twain’s words soberly and thoughtfully, and think about how you could go about sharing the gospel with someone like him.

There are many like him today, so if we are prepared, God may bring such people across our path and give us opportunity to reach out to them.

But as Peter cautions:

1 Pet. 3:16.

Do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

Giving an answer for your Hope.

Col. 4:6.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

2 Tim. 2:25.

Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.

Questions from Genesis?

Foundational Truth.

Should Genesis 1-11 be interpreted literally?

How are we supposed to interpret the accounts in the early chapters of Genesis. Are they to be believed literally or should we look for some symbolic interpretation?

As we shall see, it is imperative that we interpret the early chapters of Genesis in a literal manner. The Accusation The charge is commonly made that the early chapters of Genesis are not historical. Since the truthfulness has been challenged we need to respond to these challenges.

Foundational Truth.

Some Bible teachers may feel that it is a waste of time to go into the specific details that are revealed in Scripture, but one's faith is increased by discovering that the events recorded in Genesis are in accord with real science and genuine history.

Genesis records many things that are foundational to the truthfulness of the Bible.

The Book of Genesis was written to record for us the beginnings of many events and institutions that are essential to understanding biblical history.

These include the following....

Foundational Truth.

The beginning of the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1)

The beginning of the human race (Gen 1:27)

The beginning of the institution of marriage (Gen 2:24)

The beginning of sin in our world (Gen 3:1-7)

The beginning of the plan of salvation for humanity (Gen 3:15)

The beginning of the human family (Gen 4:1-15)

The beginning of godless civilizations (Gen 6:1-7)

The beginning of the various nations (Gen 10:1-32)

The beginning of different languages (Gen 11:1-9)

The beginning of the covenant people (Gen 12:1-3)

Foundational Truth.

The book of Genesis, is foundational to the authority of Scripture.

It provides us the answers to many questions regarding our existence. The beginning of the universe and the earth, man and woman, love and marriage, good and evil, sin and salvation are all chronicled in the Book of Genesis.

We know the origin of disease and death because it is revealed to us in the early chapters of Genesis.

When one strips away the authority from Genesis the authority of the rest of Scripture is gone.

Without an actual historical Fall of humanity and the entrance of sin into the universe, there is no need for a Saviour.

Jesus quoted Genesis.

Matthew 24:37-39.

For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

Matthew 19:4-5.

Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

Matthew 23:35.

So that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah.

Jesus believed in the accounts recorded in Genesis.

Luke traces Jesus linage back to Adam.

In the third chapter of his gospel, Luke finishes his account of Jesus’ baptism by quoting the words of God from heaven: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” This statement from God states Jesus’ direct divine lineage.

But knowing that Jesus was both God and man, Luke proceeds to show how he is linked back to Adam, the first son of God.

And so Luke lists the 70-odd men who are physically related to Jesus, going back through David, Abraham, Noah, and ending with “Adam, the son of God.”

This is basically a genealogical timeline of the world from the beginning of creation to Jesus.

Luke and Genesis.

Luke shows us that both Jesus and Adam hold vital roles in the history of the world.

Luke assumes his readers know about the history recorded in Genesis 3 (a temptation of the “first man” by Satan in a bountiful garden), so that they will understand what happened to Jesus (a temptation of the “last man” by Satan in a barren wilderness, the result of God’s curse on His creation).

Paul refers to the Genesis account.

Romans 5:12-19.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.....

For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.

For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

Peter refers to the flood recorded in Genesis.

Peter records that scoffers in the last days won’t believe the Genesis account of creation and the flood.

2 Peter 5:3-7.

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, Where is this coming he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation. But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

Foundational Truth.

The first eleven chapters of Genesis is the source to the answers of the most basic questions concerning our existence.

It gives us the answers as to the beginnings of the universe, the earth, life, marriage, civilization, sin and salvation, and many other topics.

It also explains the source for all the problems in our world, placing these events in a historical context.

During our Friday night combined meetings over the next few months we will be looking at some of the questions that are common when been quizzed by believers who want to discount a literal interpretation of Genesis or unbelievers who don’t regard the Bible as God’s Word.

Questions from Genesis 1-11.

Should Genesis 1-11 be interpreted literally?

Why was Genesis written?

Who wrote the book of Genesis?

Is the Trinity present during creation and in Genesis 1-11?

What were the waters above?

Why was there light before the sun was created?

Can the stars be used to tell the future?

What does after it’s kind mean?

In what Sense did God rest upon the Seventh Day?

Why Do Genesis 1 & 2 Use Two Different Names for God?

Was there a pre-Adamic creation?

How old is the earth?

Questions from Genesis 1-11.

Do Genesis 1 & 2 contain contradictory accounts of creation?

Can you choose whether to be male or female?

Is marriage just for a man to a woman?

Were Adam and Eve actual people?

How was Adam created?

How was Eve created?

Where was the garden of Eden?

What was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?

Was the serpent a snake that could speak?

In what sense can humans become like God?

What is/ was the tree of life?

Questions from Genesis 1-11.

Why did God place a guard at the garden of Eden?

What does Genesis 3:15 mean?

Why didn’t Adam and Eve die when they ate the fruit ?

How did Adam’s sin affect mankind and the earth?

How did Adam’s sin affect the animal kingdom?

Why did God refuse Cain’s offering?

What was the mark of Cain?

Where did Cain get his wife?

Why did man live for so long before the flood?

Why didn’t Enoch die?

Who were the sons of God and the daughters of men?

Where do demons come from?

Questions from Genesis 1-11.

In what sense was Noah perfect?

How did Noah fit all the animals in the ark?

Did it rain before the flood?

Where did all the water in the flood come from?

Was Noah responsible for his drunkenness?

Why was Canaan cursed instead of Ham?

What was Canaan’s curse?

Does the Bible endorse capital punishment?

Is abortion wrong?

Is euthanasia wrong?

Where did all the races come from?

What happened at the tower of Babel?

Walter Kaiser on Genesis.

Written As History

The Book of Genesis has been written as history. Old Testament authority Walter Kaiser makes the following observations about the first eleven chapters of Genesis.

There are 64 geographical terms, 88 personal names, 48 generic names and at least 21 identifiable cultural items (such as gold, bdellium, onyx, brass, iron, gopher wood, bitumen, mortar, brick, stone, harp, pipe, cities, towers) in those opening chapters.

Walter Kaiser on Genesis.

The significance of this list may be seen by comparing it, for example, with the paucity of references in the Koran. The single tenth chapter of Genesis has five times more geographical data of importance than the whole of the Koran.

Every one of these items presents us with the possibility of establishing the reliability of our author.

The content runs head on into a description of the real world rather than recounting events belonging to another world or level or reality

(Walter Kaiser, in New Perspectives on the Old Testament, ed. by J. Barton Payne, Waco, Texas: Word, Inc., 1970, p. 59).

Genesis is foundational.


The early chapters of Genesis are written as actual history. They are crucial to the Christian faith and must be understood literally.

They are the basis for the rest of Scripture and are to be taken seriously if the message of the Bible is to be taken seriously.

As the psalmist wrote: Psalm 11:3.

If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?

Evolutionary view on death.

When Charles Darwin wrote his famous book On the Origin of Species, he was in essence writing his view concerning the history of death.

The Biblical view on death.

The battle between Creation and evolution is a battle between two totally different histories of death.

The History of death.

If a Christian accepts the history of death over millions of years, then when God stated in Genesis 1:31 that everything He had made was “very good”, this would mean that death, suffering, violence, and diseases like cancer (as represented in the fossil record) were also “very good” as represented in this diagram.

The History of death.

If a Christian accepts the history of death as given by a literal reading of the Genesis account, then this history can be represented by this diagram where death is as a result of man’s sin.

The History of death.

From his evolutionary perspective on the origin of life, Darwin surmised that death had to be a permanent part of the world.

Undoubtedly, he struggled with this issue as he sought to reconcile some sort of belief in God with the death and suffering he observed all around him, and which he believed had gone on for millions of years.

His daughter “Annie’s cruel death, destroyed Charles’s beliefs in a moral, just universe. Later he would say that this period chimed the final death-knell for his Christianity. Charles [Darwin] now took his stand as an unbeliever. Belief in evolution and/ or millions of years necessitates that death has been a part of history since life first appeared on this planet.

The History of death.

Romans 5:12. Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.

Adam’s sin did not result in only spiritual death (Separation from God) but also physical death.

Genesis 3:17, 19. Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it: Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. . . .

In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return

Genesis is foundational to the Gospel.

Genesis is foundational to the Gospel.

Ken Ham - Answers in Genesis.

My mind recently went back 20 years to our office in Brisbane, Australia. I asked our artist Steve Cardno to illustrate an important concept for me. I told him that in my talks, I explain that there’s a connection between “molecules-to-man” evolution and moral issues like abortion, homosexual and so on.

I said that the more people reject God’s Word as the absolute authority, and the more they believe that man evolved and is thus accountable to no-one, the more they could justify any behaviour.

While Christians could see the increasing rejection of Christian morality, as well as the growing acceptance of abortion and homosexual behaviour, family breakdown etc, they couldn’t see the real foundational reason.

Ken Ham - Answers in Genesis.

Many Christians (zealous for the faith) were fighting only the issues (such as abortion), when in reality, these were just the symptoms of the real problem-the loss of Biblical authority, beginning with Genesis. We wanted to represent this artistically, and a castle illustration began to “evolve.”

For 30 years I’ve said: “If Christians just fight the moral issues, and don’t deal with the real foundational battle as to why society has changed, eventually the ‘culture war’ will be lost.” This is not to say that fighting the moral issues won’t do some good. Some will be convinced not to abort babies, for example. From a “big picture” perspective, however, society will continue to lose its once-Christian foundation unless the battle is fought at the foundational level.

Genesis is foundational to the Gospel.

Genesis is foundational to the Gospel.

Genesis is foundational to the Gospel.

Giving an answer for your Hope.

2 Corinthians 10:5.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

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