Defenses win championships. The best offense is a good defense. You’ve heard these cliches. While it is insufficient to rely only on defense, you cannot succeed in sports without it. Defending one’s product is key in the business world, defending one’s nation is vital in the global sense, and defending one’s faith is essential for Christians in the spiritual realm. Paul said, “I’m set for the defense of the gospel” (Phil. 1:17). Several times, he had to defend his decision to preach Christ (Acts 22, 24, 25-26, etc.), his work for Christ (1 Cor. 9:2-3), and even his life because of his faith (2 Tim. 4:16). Peter says we are to be ready to defend our faith against the onslaught of unbelievers (2 Pet. 3:15).
We need strong “D” as a part of our Christian ethic. How do we cultivate it?
Study. You cannot defend what you do not know and understand yourself. Delight in the law of the Lord (Psa. 1:2). “Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to all” (2 Tim. 4:15). Study is required to better know and understand God, Satan, the world, your neighbor, your brother and yourself.
Be sturdy. If you are on the battlefield, you’ve got to be able to endure the offensive onslaught of the enemy. Satan is hurling darts at you (Eph. 6:16). He’s stalking you (1 Pet. 5:8). He’s using his intelligence capabilities to infiltrate your defenses (2 Cor. 2:11). Since the Christian race is a long-distance event, there will be many occasions where you’ll want to quit and quite a few excuses you may give for quitting (cf. Heb. 12:1-2). Be durable and steadfast.
Be steady. Sports has its “streak players.” Some are professionally characterized as “on again, off again,” a euphemistic way of saying “unreliable.” You cannot be a successful defender of Christ by being inconsistent and sporadic. As a part of the local church, you are a member of the body and the other “body parts” rely on you working as you should (Rom. 12:5). It may be harder facing life as an amputee, but it surely must be aggravating to have a body part present that you can never count on to function.
Be ready. Have a ready mind (2 Cor. 8:13). Be ready to share (1 Tim. 6:18). Always be ready to be offered (2 Tim. 4:6). Be ready to every good work (Tit. 3:1). Be ready to answer for your faith (1 Pet. 3:15). Above all, be ready for Christ’s coming at any time (Mat. 25:10). That means being ready at every moment to live for Christ or die in Christ (Phi. 1:20-21). this is the ultimate defense of the soul, a readiness to suffer, sacrifice, and serve (Acts 17:11; 2 Cor. 8:5,11).
Good “D” necessitates that we study, be sturdy, be steady, and be ready. All of these attributes not only help to defend the cause of Christ, they are essential to the progress of the church and New Testament Christianity. How’s your “D”?