Watching social media argue with Christians and the Bible, and even having a friend accuse of all people, us of cherry picking from the Bible to prove a point, We researched Apologetics.
noun: reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.
As you can see it’s a Greek word for apologize and many scholars say it was used in the Bible many times. One even saying that scripture in the New Testament supports this. I believe they make their case mostly with Paul as he had to explain and defend his apostleship.
Webster’s teaches that an apologist is one who speaks or writes in defense of someone or something. Paul and Timothy said we are to be confident that He which has begun a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Although there will be those who preach Christ of envy and strife even with contention, but just as they did and so are we suppose to preach of the love of Christ and take a firm stand to defend the gospel unto which we were called (Philippians 1:1-17).
The disciples carefully laid out the Doctrine of Christ, but more importantly they laid out, using the scripture from the Torah, the scriptures proving Christ was the messiah. Proving he fulfilled prophecy. Proving He had to die and be resurrected. This was the crux of Christ’s message. Not that He was born to give them riches untold or the secret desires of their heart, simply by asking in His name, as the prosperity preachers would have you believe.
Even the disciples didn’t fully understand the magnitude of what was happening. Even while Peter knew Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah he didn’t fully understand what was coming.
When Jesus told them to go to Jerusalem and wait for power from above, it wasn’t for naught. When the Holy Spirit descended on them in fiery tongues, it was supernatural knowledge, strength and power to perform miracles to show the power of God. Much the way God gave Solomon knowledge, Daniel the ability to interpret dreams, and even Samson His strength. Moses with the ability to perform wonders. David the ability to slay Goliath. You begin to see the full picture of what they were given.
Chosen carefully by Christ they were handpicked. Paul was handpicked by Christ after His death and resurrection. He was given this same power by Christ Himself. Paul was a scholar in His own right with the Torah. But the knowledge given him by Christ along with Gods power made him invaluable to complete God’s gift to mankind. Their most hardened task was to prove Christ from the scripture and give eyewitness accounts! Not only for the Jews and gentiles of the time but for all to come after. Their case had to be airtight, for those who didn’t see what they had seen and still believe. Pagan gods and spirits ruled the earth then as they do now, and to think of how much power they were given is mind boggling.
The disciples asked Christ when will you save Israel, when will you return and what will be the signs? He told them what was to come, but He also made it clear that their mission was not to analyze the signs or calculate the year of His return. He sent them out to tell of Christ!
John was given the Revelation of Christ of what was coming. His warnings for the Church, and what He would bring for those who overcome. But so many have turned from the great commission and have twisted even this book. Attempting to make it the most important. But to understand this, we first have to understand the Lord of Glory and then the mysteries of God will unfold.
Paul speaks of the mind of Christ, and that as Christians we have this same gift, if we only open up to it.
1 Corinthians 2 is a must read for every Christian wanting to understand the crux of Christianity and the Gospel. For it’s not man’s words or wisdom, it’s not flowery words and persuasion. It’s not a doctorate in theology or language. It’s the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:2-5
2For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words,but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
The Spirit teaches all things, there can be no understanding without it. And this spirit has been so misunderstood in mans attempt to harness this power it’s confused with all sorts of things. Some say this spirit is speaking in tongues and without this you’re not baptised of the Holy Spirit. Scripture doesn’t say that. The Holy Spirit is knowledge, power and strength to carry on. Now more than ever we need to know the scripture and know that we have the mind of Christ. It’s more important than ever to show an unbelieving world what prophecy was fulfilled in Christ, and who He is.
Even the High Priests of Jesus’s time didn’t know the mysteries of God, as Paul points out, if they had they wouldn’t have crucified the Lord of Glory.
I don’t think the church today fully understands the gift given us or the mission given us by Christ.
John the Baptist fulfilled the Prophecy of Isaiah in preparing the way for Christ. John, while baptizing in the wilderness and preparing the way said this to the Sadducees and Pharisees of the day:
Matthew 3: 11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
He was beheaded for calling out the sins of Herod. And when the disciples asked Jesus what about the Prophecy of Elijah returning first, He said this: (Mathew 17) “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.12 But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.
We must understand these prophecies and mysteries before we can know what is coming, and in order to live out the mission given us by Christ. Again we don’t need a degree, we don’t need flowery words or prosperity teachings we need the mind of Christ and the Holy Spirit.
There’s an old Hymn that says it all, “It is no secret what God can do.” Unlock that power today, ask God to receive this gift of knowledge and power, and it will be revealed.