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15but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you;

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15. sanctifyhallow; honor as holy, enshrining Him in your hearts. So in the Lord's Prayer, Mt 6:9. God's holiness is thus glorified in our hearts as the dwelling-place of His Spirit.

the Lord God—The oldest manuscripts read "Christ." Translate, "Sanctify Christ as Lord."

andGreek, "but," or "moreover." Besides this inward sanctification of God in the heart, be also ready always to give, &c.

answer—an apologetic answer defending your faith.

to every man that asketh you—The last words limit the universality of the "always"; not to a roller, but to everyone among the heathen who inquires honestly.

a reason—a reasonable account. This refutes Rome's dogma, "I believe it, because the Church believes it." Credulity is believing without evidence; faith is believing on evidence. There is no repose for reason itself but in faith. This verse does not impose an obligation to bring forward a learned proof and logical defense of revelation. But as believers deny themselves, crucify the world, and brave persecution, they must be buoyed up by some strong "hope"; men of the world, having no such hope themselves, are moved by curiosity to ask the secret of this hope; the believer must be ready to give an experimental account "how this hope arose in him, what it contains, and on what it rests" [Steiger].

with—The oldest manuscripts read, "but with." Be ready, but with "meekness." Not pertly and arrogantly.

meekness—(1Pe 3:4). The most effective way; not self-sufficient impetuosity.

fear—due respect towards man, and reverence towards God, remembering His cause does not need man's hot temper to uphold it.




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