When I think of Billy Graham's preaching over the years, one of the things that stands out is the fact that he always quoted the Bible. How many times have we heard Billy Graham say, "And the Bible says . . . and the Bible says . . ."? He recognizes the authority of Scripture.
Peter, too, recognized the authority of Scripture when he spoke to the crowd at Pentecost (see Acts 2). He quoted Joel 2:28–32, apparently from memory. Then he quoted Psalm 16 and Psalm 110. Obviously Peter had memorized great portions of Scripture.
In the same way, we need to use Scripture as we share the gospel. As an artist knows how to use her pens and brushes (and nowadays, her software program), as a chef knows how to use his knives, and as a soldier knows how to use his weapons, we need to know how to use the Word of God.
Peter wrote, "If someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it" (1 Peter 3:15). The phrase, "always be ready" is from the Greek word apologia
, from which we get our English word "apologetic." This does not mean apologizing for our faith; rather, apologia
carries the meaning of a legal defense, as in a court of law. It is like making your case before a judge or jury. That is what we are doing when we present the facts of the gospel. We are making our case.
In Isaiah 55:11, God says of His Word: "I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it."
When it comes to sharing our faith, nothing is more effective than quoting the Word of God.