The word which jumps out in this verse, when you read the Greek Interlinear version, is that ‘answer’ is written as ‘defence’.
We are to always be ready to give a defence of the hope we have in Christ.
The word for ‘defence’ in Greek is apologian and only occurs in the New Testament 3 times: 2 Corinthians 7:11, Philippians 1:16, and here in 1 Peter 3:15.
According to Strong’s definition, the word means to give an answer for oneself, to be a clearing of self, or a defense.
The religious hierarchy was very anti the 1st Century Church – remember its actions had led to the leader of The Way – Jesus – being crucified. Saul of Tarsus had led the Judaic witch-hunt of the post-Resurrection followers.
As the Word of God spread out into the Gentile communities there were many other debates and challenges to this new faith. The Book of Acts provides sufficient examples of Paul having to defend his faith.
We are still being challenged to ‘defend’ our faith.
Sometimes this is in the face of violence and persecution, but for most of us it is in the form of the unbelief of those around us and a society which is increasingly humanistic in tone.
Peter challenges us to have our ‘defence’ for our faith in the hope of Christ.
What is your apologian?
What is it in your life, day in and day out, which convinces you to be a follower of The Way of our Lord Jesus Christ?