1 Peter 3:15 Sanctify in Your Hearts Christ as Lord

...but sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear...

For those of us who like to argue this passage is much loved because we are to be ready to give a defense of our hope. In other words, we're to be ready to say, "we hope in Christ's making new of all things, because God raised him from the dead to prove that he is lord [read eschatological judge of the world]." And for many of us this means we get to argue about epistemology, historical method, personal relative proof, personal experience, worldviews, etc. This also means that we get to quote the church fathers, make fun of Bertrand Russel, pretend to understand Kierkegaard, parrot Van Til while agreeing with Barth, use Plantinga's terminology, and dismiss Kant and Descartes as though we knew them personally, all of this in the looming shadow of Hume. But I'm not going there.

But when I read 1Peter I am often floored because of the previous clause. We are to set apart Christ as Lord in our hearts. The reason we are to do this, says Pete, is because in a world where Christ is Lord the righteous need not fear performing righteousness because Jesus will vindicate his people. So if we sanctify, or set apart Christ as Lord in our hearts my guess is that our fears, real though they may be, will probably melt away.

My position (that I won't defend apart from its explanatory power) is that sanctifying or setting apart Christ as Lord in our hearts means coming to believe in him whom we have not seen in the same way we believe gravity will make us plummet to earth from space and we live accordingly. Perhaps this happens even more deeply, like knowing him as Lord in the way that I know my best friend loves me and I live accordingly.

So, sanctify Jesus Christ as Lord in your hearts.

BTW: If anybody has any good advice concerning how to do so, please let me know. This is obviously a practice for believers to do, those who have "tasted the kindness of the Lord," so it doesn't mean "wait for Jesus to change you."

Geoff has joined theologer.com to guest blog about once a week. He blogs at The Faceless Name