Strangers And Aliens (16d): Defending The Faith (1 Peter 3:13–17)

The pagans have no frame of reference by which to understand what we are saying. The Christian faith is a mystery. We claim that a Jewish rabbi was crucified and raised on the third day, that he was and remain, in fact, God the Son incarnate. There is nothing about paganism that prepares them to understand that. Further. the pagans think about religion as a matter of works, as a matter of a quid pro quo. They think that the gods are powers to be controlled and manipulated. We make offerings and we perform duties and thereby, they think, we have obligated the gods to be good to us. That is not the Christian faith. We say that God has been gracious to us in that while we were sinners (disobedient and judgment deserving), God sent his Son to obey for us, in our place, and to die for us, as our substitute. We say that we are right with God not by anything we have done or can do but merely because God has credited to us who believe all that Jesus did for us. That is a supernatural religion. The pagan has a natural religion. He elevates nature (works) into a religion and seeks to use it to control the gods. Continue reading →