Nine Characteristics of an Apologet

What is Apologetics?

According to Merriam Webster dictionary, it means a systematic argumentative discourse in defense (as of a doctrine), and a branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity. So it is a defense of the faith. All Christians are called to defend the faith. 

The Profile of an Apologet

If we take a look in Acts, we will find the exact description of an apologet. Some renown apologets in Scripture are the apostle Paul, Apollos, Jude, Aquila & Priscilla and John. Let’s build the profile of an apologet based on the text from Acts chapter 18. I will include the Greek terms for more clarity. 

1. An apologet is Eloquent (logios, λόγιος) 

Whoever defends the Gospel of Christ must be diligent to be learned, to study, to be a person of letters, and be rational and wise. Often times the Lord gifts apologets with eloquence in speech or writing. 

2. An apologet is Mighty (dunatos, δυνατός) 

One must be able to strongly and powerfully defend the true doctrine of Scripture and put down the shrewd arguments of those who attack the Word of God either directly or indirectly. 

3. An apologet is Instructed (katecheo, κατηχέω)

Whoever is involved in apologetics must be able to instruct and teach others either orally or through other ways, the Truth that Scripture contains, and how to defend it. That is what all the apologets in the book of Acts did. Paul was teaching regularly, Apollos taught, Priscilla & Aquila taught Apollos and so forth.

4. An apologet is Fervent in Spirit (zeó, ζέω)

The meaning of this Greek word zeó means to be boiling with heat, to be hot, to be seething with emotion, ardently committed to something. This should characterize all Christians, and this kind of attitude is needed when defending the most precious Word of God. 

5. An apologet must be Accurate (akribós, ἀκριβῶς)

The meaning of this word is exact, careful, strictly exact to the finest detail. It means Christians must be very factually precise about the Word of God and the doctrine. The word akribós means that accuracy is gained through comprehensive probing and investigation. It also comes from being humble enough to learn from others who are more advanced than we are-  as Apollo was when he learned more accurately the the way of God from Priscilla & Aquila who were more informed than him (v. 26). 

6. An apologet must be Bold (parrésiazomai, παρρησιάζομαι)

An apologet must be able to speak freely (or at least write freely) without inhibition. Our confidence as Christians comes from knowing that God is always right- His Scripture is True and will ultimately win, no matter what! So this should make us as bold as lions.

7. An apologet will Greatly Help the Saints (polus, πολύς ; sumballó, συμβάλλω)

The Greek word used in this verse is polus which means much, many/numerous and often. Then the word for helped is sumballó which means together, conversing or pondering, or disputing. So Apollos was a man who conversed and worked together with others to help many saints and brought them together to discuss truth, and disputed the errors of false teachers. 

8. An apologet will Powerfully Refute False Prophets and Errors (eutonós, εὐτόνως ; sumballó, συμβάλλω)

This interesting word eutonós means well stretched and fully extended to the limit, in a well strung manner. It also has the sense of vigorously and vehemently. So a Christian and an apologet must be vehemently defending the Word of God against errors! The word diakatelegchomai means to utterly refute, prove all the way through, convict. So Apollos vehemently proved all the way through the truth of God’s Word and the falsity of those false teachers! In fact, the real meaning of the word diakatelegchomai means: ‘he met the opposing arguments in turn (dia), and brought them down to the ground (kata).’ So he basically punched the living daylights out of the false arguments like a boxer. Those opposing him had nothing left to say! 

9. An apologet will Demonstrate Truth through Scripture (epideiknumi, ἐπιδείκνυμι)

The Greek word epideiknumi means to show and prove. So as Christians and apologets we must prove the correctness of our arguments backed up by Scripture, the ultimate Truth. 

Midweek Music: Two Brothers, One Song

My sister discovered these virtuoso brothers on youtube- and I we’ve been listening to them for weeks on end. Vladimir and Anton come from a musical family of 6 children and obviously everyone in the family plays an instrument. Their mother is Slovakian and their father is Russian. 

The brothers moved to Ireland because of course, it’s the land of fiddlers and violin players! Vladimir found a wife there and has three children. Now the brothers are gaining popularity, and have even played at the BBC Proms concerts. 

Their talent and skill is enviable and they bring out the beauty in each song they play. As you will see, the songs Vladimir and Anton play, prove that there is beautiful and dynamic music out there, and it doesn’t have to be rock or contemporary pop music for it to be dynamic. 

I couldn’t decide which song to add to our Midweek Music, so I decided to let you listen to two of their songs! Let me know which one you like most. 

 

 

Instead of New Years Resolutions

 

I cannot believe how quickly 2016 has passed by! For me it has been a very busy year, but also a very fruitful year by God’s grace.

I have experienced many answered prayers and I was humbled and thrilled to see how the Lord would answer specific desires that I prayed. Last year instead of doing a New Year’s Resolutions list, I did something different which I’ll repeat this year too.

Prayer and Goals List for the New Year 

I felt that the most efficient and sure way to see change in my life, to see goals accomplished and dreams granted was through making a prayer/goals/dreams list for the upcoming year. I titled it “Prayer List for 2016”. I added on that list things that were high on my priority list, all the way to smaller things. For example, I put my request to graduate with honors, to pass my final exam in the first try- and both of those were answered. Also smaller things in some people’s eyes (but that meant a lot to me) like getting a pair of roller blades- and that was answered too! I put ministry goals in there as well, such as my apologetics ministry and writing books for little children.

Then I prayed on that list throughout the year.  As time passed, I saw how the Lord answered prayers and I saw my list being check-marked! He granted me my desires for the year! How good the Lord is! Of course, I am not saying that the Lord is there to do whatever you want Him to do- but He loves us so much and delights when we pour out our hearts to Him and entrust our dreams and goals for our life. It is a tangible way to experience God’s love when you see Him answer specific prayers!

So I urge you to make a goals/dreams list and pray on it for the upcoming year instead of making a New Year’s Resolution. Put stuff on there like traveling to The Ark Encounter, or other travel plans, ministry goals, family goals, school goals, and any other thing you have on your heart.

Thanksgiving List of the Previous Year

Along with my goals/prayer list, I made a thanksgiving list too. I recounted all the significant and beautiful events of the previous years and put them all on a long list. I added huge events like our roadtrip to Chicago, all the way to small things like getting compliments on a group project from my teacher, or winning a giveaway, or getting a molar fixed! It may sound ridiculous to some people to list such “insignificant” things, but in all those things I saw God’s hand, His goodness, and lovingkindess, so I wanted to remember them in gratefulness to see how He was with me in the big and little things in life.

What Will YOU be doing for the New Year?

Did you hear this Christmas Carol?

I thought my last post would be the Midweek Music until the New Year comes around. But I couldn’t help sharing one more Christmas carol. 

Most of you probably heard this all over Facebook. The song Mary Did You Know? is one of my favorite Christmas carols. Mark Lowry is the co-writer of the song, and the soloist in this video. Together with the Voctave band, he and they do an incredible job of singing this song acapella. Their harmonies blend so well, and it makes you marvel at the beauty and capability of the human voice- the creation of God! We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made! 

 

Midweek Music: The Shepherd on guitar

Merry Christmas week! I should have done a “12 Days of Carols” on the blog with my favorite Christmas carols, but maybe Lord willing next year.

I wanted to share this touching Christmas guitar melody. It was composed by an Italian. The melody starts slow and then has a dynamic crescendo. I would love to know what you thought of the song. 

Look below this video to read some life snippets about my Christmas season. 

 

 

Some verses that have been on my heart recently from my daily Bible devotion: 
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal 6:7-9)

Also, an encouraging verse I read today:  “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Book I am currently reading is: Rebel with a Cause Autobiography of Franklin Graham. It’s a great story, giving you a glimpse into the real life of Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, and captivating too. I received it for free when Samaritan’s Purse ministry said they have some free copies, so I signed up. 

 

Book I am planning to read: The Secret Rescue- An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines. I don’t know how good the book is, but the title sounds absolutely delightful- just up my alley! I borrowed it from the library but I have to look it up and see if it has any bad stuff, cause I might end up not reading it after all. 😦

 

This year the house is decorated earlier for Christmas: The lights are put up, the stockings at the fireplace and there are ornaments in the windows and paper snowflakes hanging from the light fixture. It didn’t take as much time as last year- maybe because I was not as stressed out, since I’m graduated from college- so odd. College felt like it’s never ending. 

Been sick with the flu: I’ve been so sick with the flu the past week, it almost didn’t feel like Christmas. Fever, and coughing and muscle aches! It was terrible. I lived on ibuprofen, vitamin C, cough drops, tea, onion tea (yuck), elderberry syrup, silver solution. Because of that, we couldn’t do our annual tradition of going Christmas caroling in front of stores as shoppers go in and out. I miss that. 

Planning to bring cookies: to all our neighbors, cashiers at our local store, bank tellers and a few other people. Or maybe my family and I will make cinnamon rolls- I’m not sure. 

This year everyone’s hectic: Wherever you drive people are bustling around like crazy! I feel like this year it’s more than previous years- everyone is out there doing shopping, and there are so many distracted drivers! 

Listening to Christmas carols: really puts me in the mood for Christmas. How do you focus on the Christmas story? 

Looking forward to spending time with family for Christmas: it’s so neat when you get to have relatives come over and celebrate important holidays like Christmas together! Usually we have a quiet Christmas- just me and my immediate family, but this year will be a bit more festive. Singing Christmas carols together is wonderful!

Attended a Christmas concert: at my former college! It was a lovely orchestra and choir. The nice thing was they sang real Christian Christmas carols, not the fake “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” or stuff like that. Of course they had a few other ones like the Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, and some Jazz, but at the end the audience joined the choir to sing Handel’s Messiah Alleluiah, which was awesome! 

Christmas is on a Sunday- once in 7 years: I look forward to having Christmas on Sunday, it seems like just the right thing! We can celebrate the birth of our Savior together with other believers at church. It happens about once in every 7 years, I heard. 

Merry Christmas in the Lord to all of you around the world- and a blessed, safe and beautiful New Year! 

Please share with me your Christmas traditions, or what you do to focus on the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ! 

 

 

How To Be An Overcomer

 

We live in the last days. This means the days after Christ and before His second coming. You have probably noticed that in all societies there is an increase in evil people, hate, occultism, hostility towards Christianity. These verses sum it all up:

And thou, O Daniel, hide the things, and seal the book till the time of the end, many do go to and fro, and knowledge is multiplied. (Dan 12:4)

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. (2 Tim 3:1-5) 

Knowledge increases, more and more people travel all over the world, and they are lovers of themselves and of money, boastful and hateful. Sounds like the 21st century to a T.

So how do you overcome?

  • How do you grow in godliness?
  • How do you shine as a light and witness to people?
  • How do you stay away from sin, worldly influences and crooked people?
  • How do you get a reward in heaven?

Here are practical ways to be an overcomer, from the book of Revelation, the book about the end times. These practical steps are in the verses in the passage to the church in Philadelphia. God doesn’t just throw us out there in an evil world and then says “okay, get out there and overcome! You’re on your own!”. No, He provides everything we need to be able to overcome! And He reveals them to us in Scripture. So these words should be buried deeply as seeds in our spiritual mind and watered with prayer so we will grow into “oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3)

Read the passage and then I will show you the steps outlined in the verses.

“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.  I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.  I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 3:7-13)

God Provided for YOU to Overcome: 

  • Be Christological- Christ centered (He is the one who is Holy and True) (v.7)
  • He set before you an open door that no one can shut (v.7)
  • He gave you some strength (v. 8)
  • Keep God’s Word (Scripture, His promises, correct doctrine) (v.8)
  • Do not deny His name (v.8)
  • Keep His commands (God’s Word) through the power of the Holy Spirit (v.10)
  • Endure patiently the trials and difficulty of the Christian life (v. 10)
  • Wait for the Coming of the Lord (v.11)
  • Through prayer and fasting, hold on to what you have (faith, Scripture, spiritual work/ministry) so no one takes your crown (v.11)
  • Have an open ear to what the Spirit says through God’s Word (v.13)

God set before you the way to overcome. May He help us all to persevere and be overcomers through the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen!

 

14 People in Your Community You Should Share the Christmas Message With

 

 

Christmas is the best time to share the Gospel message! People are in a cheery festive mood and more willing to receive anything. Here are some very practical ways you can spread the Christmas message in your own community! 

Supplies: 

 

  • A quality Gospel tract. Our favorite is Ultimate Questions by John Blanchard. You can purchase it on Amazon. On this website you can find the content inside the tract, so you know what you’re buying. 
  • Add a label sticker on the back of the Gospel tract with the name of a good local church they can visit. On that sticker include resources like a link for “Creation Science for Students and Beyond” sending them to Institute for Creation Research
  • A treat/gift. Always give the Gospel tracts with a little treat like a candy cane, some cookies, a soda, a mandarine etc.
  • Pray for all the people you give to, that God would use this to touch their heart and change their lives! 

People that are neglected in ‘random acts of kindness’

When you spread the Christmas message you are somehow doing ‘random acts of kindness’ as some people like to call them. The people that get the most attention are the postman or firefighters, but there are several other people who work just as hard and are overlooked. I wanted to show where you can spread the Gospel this Christmas in your community! 

The Grocery Store Cashier 

Get your cashier a chocolate or a bag of mandarines, and include a Gospel tract. Tell them “Merry Christmas and thank you for your excellent work!” I tell you they will be so pleasantly surprised and touched. Make it even more special if it is a cashier/clerk you are familiar with! They will remember you for a long time.

Community College Police 

This is for all the college students out there. With all the hatred we’ve seen against police lately (here in America at least), this will be a great way to reach out to them and show your support. Get something store-bought and sealed so it doesn’t look suspicious to them, and add a Gospel tract and card. Go to their office and thank them for their service, tell them how much you appreciate that they keep your campus safe! 

Alternatively, if you feel led, bring some store-bought cookies to your local police department and thank them for their service. 

The Janitor 

If you are in a large corporation or work for a company, you can spread the Christmas cheer to the janitors. You can also do this for the janitors at church, at school- anywhere. Give them something home-made or store bought and a Gospel tract. They will be so surprised! If they speak another language, try to find a Gospel tract in their language. 

The Bank Teller

I think bank tellers usually get something special from customers during the holidays, but still- give them a little treat with a Gospel tract and thank them for their service! 

The Nurse

Nurses work super hard- I can tell you from experience. 12 hour shifts are no joke. They don’t often get the ‘random acts of kindness’ either. So find a nurse somewhere in your community- either at a hospital, nursing home or somewhere, and give them a treat and a Gospel tract. 

The Garbage Man

If you are ever home when the garbage man comes around, make sure you give them something special too! They do a hard job and probably never get anything special. Remember to include a Gospel tract! 

Roadworkers/Construction workers

If you have road workers or construction workers in your area, you may try to find a way to share a Christmas treat with them too- homemade treats are awesome for them! They will be giddy as little children I guarantee you. Get your dad, husband or man in your life to hand it to them or to accompany you so you will be safe and try not to step into the construction zone, but get their attention and call them over to where you are. Make sure you have plenty of Gospel tracts so they can share.  

Hotel Maids, Gas station service-person, Bus driver

If you’re traveling this Christmas, you may be staying at a hotel, or going in states where they have gas station service-people (and the cashier at the gas station). Make sure you spread the Christmas cheer by giving them a little treat and a Gospel tract! Or if you commute regularly to work with public transportation, you can give a treat+Gospel tract to the bus driver, taxi driver, etc. 

The pizza delivery person 

If you have a milkman that brings milk or a pizza delivery guy, remember to give them a Gospel tract and treat also! 

Families & single mothers in poor trailer-home neighborhoods

Seek out a poor neighborhood like a trailer home park or an apartment complex where you know honest but poor people live and bring them a basket of goodies with a Gospel tract, and maybe a gift card to a grocery store so they can do some shopping. And please- no canned foods. I don’t believe canned foods are really “our best”- give them (for maybe once in their life), some quality food.

Senior citizens

Go to a nursing home and do some Christmas caroling and hand out a treat with a Gospel tract to the elderly people. 

Additionally, organize a Christmas card event for the elderly in your church who may be lonely. Get their mailing addresses and share them with church members encouraging them to send a Christmas card to a lonely elderly person in your church. 

So basically look around you and have an open eye for regular people who need the gospel message! 

Who else would you recommend? I’m curious to hear!