The phrase Sanctify Christ as Lord comes from 1 Peter 3:15. This verse is one of the cornerstone verses of Chapter 3 Ministries. I’m sure I will be revisiting it again in my writings. Here is the verse in a slightly expanded context.
“Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.” 1Pe 3:13-17 (NASB)
From the context we can see that the subject at hand is suffering for the sake of righteousness. Peter encouraged his Christian readers not to fear or be troubled in their suffering. He gave them a different path to take. That path began with sanctifying Christ as Lord. He calls them to sanctify Christ as Lord in their hearts. My thoughts are if this is done, it would crowd out or minimize the fear and trouble that might otherwise invade their hearts due to the intimidation that they suffered. Also, it would serve as the foundation for being able to make a defense for the hope that is in them. Sanctifying Christ as Lord in our hearts pulls us out of fear and troubled hearts and leads us into the readiness that we need to have to defend our hope.
Today we can still face intimidation because of our beliefs or behaviors. Sometimes it might come from family members. Sometimes it might come from friends or coworkers or even strangers. We can be affected simply by a culture of intimidation towards Christianity. Whatever the case, we can find a means to overcome that intimidation in the same way as these early Christians. That means is holding Christ in our hearts in the right way.
When Jesus is held sanctified in our hearts as Lord, he is set apart and seen as holy. We see him for who he truly is, and he is amazing. He is our Master. He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith. He is the Resurrection and the Life. He is the Great Shepherd. He is our Savior and Lord. He is God the Son!
Holding these truths in our hearts is a great catalyst for overcoming fear and a troubled heart and provides the firm foundation for our defense. With his help we can give our defense because of who he is. We do it because he loves us and we love him. We do it because he has given us a great hope.
I believe a great place to start in apologetics is honoring Christ in the right way. May we begin every endeavor of defending our faith not worried about memorizing a list of facts or which logical fallacies to avoid; but instead may we keep Christ sanctified in our hearts.