Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.
Always be ready to give an explanation
to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,
but do it with gentleness and reverence,
keeping your conscience clear,
so that, when you are maligned,
those who defame your good conduct in Christ
may themselves be put to shame.
For it is better to suffer for doing good,
if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.
For Christ also suffered for sins once,
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,
that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh,
he was brought to life in the Spirit.
(1 Peter 3:15-18)
3:15 make a defense: I.e., make a reasoned articulation of the faith and be ready to disarm any attacks mounted against it. Essential to the task is an attitude of calm self-composure, so that the truth will always be honored and spoken in love (Eph 4:15). The word “defense” (Gk. apologia) often refers to a legal case presented before a judge and jury (Acts 25:16; 2 Tim 4:16). It is the basis of the word “apologetics”, which involves explaining and defending Christian truth (Acts 22:1).
3:18 Suffered: very many ancient manuscripts and versions read “died.” Put to death in the flesh: affirms that Jesus truly died as a human being. Brought to life in the spirit: that is, in the new and transformed existence freed from the limitations and weaknesses of natural human life (cf. 1 Cor 15:45).
“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope”
The Lord is not referring to defending oneself before the courts. He seems to be referring to the obligation to bear witness to their faith and hope, for all baptized persons should always, by word and example, make their faith known to others. But if we think about it, all the Lord is really asking us to do is share our story of Him. Even in the midst of difficulties, the entire Christian life should be a hymn of praise to God by living out the hope that is in us.
May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.