15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
is not what English people of today think it means. To modern English people "hope" is completely insecure - could happen but might not. And the first point agaist such an understanding of "hope" in 1 Peter 3:15 is that the "hope that is in" believers is backed completely by God in such promises as Ephesians 2:8-10
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
And that set of verses of God's word clearly sets out even "faith" as a gift of God.
Also the good news (gospel) of the Bible is most clearly and most concisely in 1 Corinthians 15:3b-4
how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
And verse 2 that gospel is 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you,
Those who believe what God has said saves them have assurance that they are saved here and now based on who said so. And their assurance of being saved is evidence of FAITH in the One who said so -- it's simple as that.
But if the Savior one believes in is a "pattern preacher" or a way-shower or just our elder brother, and is not believed to be who He claimed to be (God), then the god such a person believes in is another god, another spirit and another jesus, who do not exist - one must know the God of the Bible in the manner that He describes Himself in His word to even beghin to trust Him.
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