Justin Martyr: Within Reason

Ron Geschwendt

READ : 1 Peter 3:8-18

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (v. 15 NIV)

Justin (ca. AD 100-165) sought peace through a life of philosophy, but he became disenchanted with it. Someone pointed him to Christianity, and Justin embraced Jesus Christ with both head and heart. Justin declared the Christian faith as “the one sure worthy Philosophy.”

Intellectuals of the day accused Christians of barbarities such as orgies and child sacrifice. They mocked the idea of Christ’s physical resurrection. Justin persuasively defended the Christian faith against these false charges, teaching that the gospel is both trustworthy and reasonable.

Eventually Justin was brought to trial for refusing to sacrifice to false Roman gods. He and six companions who remained loyal to Christ were scourged and beheaded. Justin steadfastly confessed what he knew to be true. In honor of his witness, the church called him Justin Martyr (martyr is Greek for “witness”).

Few people, if any, find faith in Christ by reason alone, but once they trust in Christ as their Savior, they soon discover how reasonable the Christian faith really is. As Ravi Zacharias says, “God has put enough into the world to make faith in him a most reasonable thing, and he has left enough out to make it impossible to live by sheer reason or observation alone.”

PRAYER

Lord, raise up today faithful witnesses who can show the reasonableness of our faith to others.