Defender of the Christian faith
Published 2:39 pm Friday, April 2, 2010
I have vowed myself as a defender of the Christian faith and since that solemn promise; I have heard many and read blasphemous statements from other people leading me to ask the question.
What is a defender of the Christian faith?
The best plan to find the answer to that question is the Holy Bible, the rule and guide of my faith. As I searched the divine scriptures for my answers, I found much light.
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Jesus tells Peter in Matthew 16:18, “Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
The “Church” that Jesus is speaking of is not a building, but individuals who profess the gospel of Jesus, that he was God and man, and that he died on a cross, rose again from the dead, and is the only mediator between God and man.
The use of gates that Jesus mentioned is interesting, as gates keep danger out and the illustration is that the church is attacking hell as a “defender of the Christian faith” to be proactive in the name of Jesus Christ and on the offensive against the gates of hell.
The question may now come “How do I defend the Christian Faith?”
The Webster dictionary defines “defend” saying (1) to drive danger or attack away from (2) to maintain or support in the face of argument or hostile criticism.
Can man “defend” God or does he want us to defend it?
First we do not defend the Christian faith by embracing non-Biblical Ideas. We “defend every word in the scripture with passion and conviction. Titus 3:9 warns us “But avoid foolish questions … for they are unprofitable and vain.”
Jesus told the Disciples in the Gospel of Luke, “Take no thought at to what their answers would be when they were questioned, but that the Holy Spirit would tell them what to say.”
Paul tells us in Colossians 4 to “Let your speech be always with grace that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
And in 1st Peter 3:15: “Be ready always to give an answer … of the hope that is in you.”
God wants us to answer and defend our beliefs, to a world that rejected him, Jesus commands us in Mark 16 to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. We must be able to stop the mouth of the gainsayer.
Jesus said in St. Luke 21:15: “For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all of your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay or resist.”
The Apostle Paul’s letters demanded that the church reject the teachings of the Gnostics and follow truth. In St. Matthew 10:32, Jesus promises that “He who confesses me before man, him will I confess before the Father.”
All we have to do is defend him publicly.
Outspoken Christian men and women have been persecuted for Jesus Christ and his word, and have changed the world.
Stephen was stoned for teaching Jesus. Paul and James were imprisoned and killed. Early defenders of the faith were not passive men, and when we look at how Peter, that night being far outnumbered, drew his sword and cut the ear off the servant, who was a skillful soldier, Peter was being on the offensive to defend Jesus.
We can see Jesus walking in the temple knocking over tables, giving the money changers a thrashing and calling them names. Jesus did this to defend the Temple (body).
The Bible tells us we are to defend Christianity spiritually. Ephesians warns us that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, principalities and powers in high places.”
To defend the faith, we must battle on the spiritual level with prayer. Prayer is God’s way stopping evil in our lives.
Because we fight a spiritual battle, we are instructed to “pray without ceasing.” The Bible promised when two or more are gathered in his name, he will be with us. In essence two men in agreement, can call down the power of God.
Through the scripture, we can see how that we who call ourselves Defenders of the Faith, to do this we must do so with our mind, body and spirit.
To be defenders of the Christian faith, we must adhere to these virtues and not only be willing to take up our cross daily, but to be the first to do so, and to lead others in the example of how. But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the Gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God which trieth our hearts. (1st Thessalonians 2:4).