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Sometimes sharing and defending your belief in Jesus can be a scary job, especially in today's world that seeks to mute the Christian's opinion on just about everything.  It's interesting to note that we're told in Scripture to be so confident in our faith that we can turn our backs to those who oppose us and not be afraid, with Paul writing that we are to be " in no way alarmed by your opponents (Philippians 1:28).   

One of the best stories in Scripture on confidence is in Acts 4 where Peter and John  heal a man who couldn't walk from birth, and as a reward for their good deed and their preaching about Jesus, they're seized and thrown in jail for the night.  The next morning, they stand before the religious council and deliver a strong testimony on the true power behind their message and the hope of salvation that's found in Jesus alone.  Then we come to Acts 4:13, which says:


"Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus."

This verse is a standout in God's Word on confidence for a couple of reasons.  First, Peter and John were standing before the supposed scholars and movers/shakers who were the self-proclaimed "experts" of the day.  Next, Peter and John are rightly recognized as not being in the intellectual elite; they were folks with no special degrees or status...but they did understand that they were disciples of Jesus.  After they listened to Peter and John, looked over and saw the man who couldn't previously walk standing there with them (likely beaming!), the Bible says "they had nothing to say in reply."

Flash forward now to today.  Not much has changed has it?  The scholars of modern times challenge the claims of Christianity just like they did back then.  And even though it may not be done in the best spirit sometimes, it's OK to ask questions and validate claims especially when it comes to serious matters of things like, for example, eternal life and a right relationship with God. 

So where are the men and women who, like Peter and John, have spent time with Jesus and can stand with confidence before such scrutiny and give reasonable answers that hit the mark, silence the arguments of the day, and help people understand the truth?  Sadly not enough are available.  Why?  Simply because such ability doesn't arise by accident.  Just like the author of Hebrews says, "But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil." (Hebrews 5:14).  Such ability comes from spending time uncovering the truths of God and understanding the arguments of the other side.

Do you want to confidently walk in the Christian faith?  Then it's time to start eating solid food.  Moreover, you're commanded to do so in order that you are always "ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;" (1 Peter 3:15).

For more information on confidence and why more of it is needed in today's church, see Robin's blog post "The Worst Deficiency in the Church at: http://calebspath.blogspot.com/2006_06_01_archive.html.