Pastor’s Note – Biblical Boldness!

Greetings Church! What a great study our time in Ephesians 6 on the armor of God has been! I cannot express my thankfulness in sufficient words to the Lord Jesus Christ in his faithfulness to bless the proclamation of the written word and also to all of you who have shared the Lord’s blessings with me. Many of you have expressed that the Lord has encouraged, strengthened, and challenged you through this study. May God be glorified as he continues to glorify himself through his word!

Our final sermon in this series comes this week – and again we find ourselves only looking at two verses! One of the themes we will be dealing with this week is boldness. However the idea of biblical boldness doesn’t come without its own difficulties. Not that the word of God is difficult, but our idea of what is bold and what isn’t can sometimes be dictated by the culture and not from a biblical perspective.

We know God wants us to have biblical boldness in our proclamation of the gospel, but the question is really: what is boldness from God’s perspective? Do the protesters from Westboro Baptist Church represent biblical boldness? Is being bold mean that we are angry and unkind in what we say? Lets find out!

What is Boldness?

In our verses this week Paul writes,

“and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”

(Eph. 6:19-20 ESV)

Clearly, Paul asked for personal prayers in his personal spiritual battle against satanic attack so that he may maintain a bold proclamation of the gospel. As we said above – and Paul understood – the gospel should be proclaimed boldly! But what does he mean by boldness?

The Greek word used in both verses is parresia (or parresiazomai in the verb form).  This word is used often in the New Testament and is defined clearly as –

boldness n. — “the trait of being willing to undertake activities that involve risk or danger; especially that involve being honest and straightforward in attitude and speech.”

Logos Bible Sense Lexicon

Biblical boldness is in essence a lack of fear to speak the gospel clearly in any situation.

Peter and John give us a shining example of boldness in Acts 4:1-12. Through the power of Christ, they had healed the lame beggar outside the temple and proclaimed the gospel to the crowds gathered (Acts 3:1-10; 11-26). This deeply angered the high priest Annas and Sanhedrin, they thought they had gotten rid of the teachings of Jesus by delivering him over to the Romans. So after being taken captive by the Jewish authorities, Peter and John stand before the elders, scribes, and Annas the high priest and priestly family when Luke records,

“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:8-12 ESV)

Notice that Luke points out that they were filled with the Holy Spirit! And what do they do? They fearlessly proclaim the truth of the gospel despite what might happen to them if they did. And the next verse gives us assurance that this is biblical boldness –

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13 ESV).

And, you guessed it, that word boldness is the accusative form of our Greek word parresia

Biblical boldness is in essence a lack of fear to speak the gospel clearly in any situation.

This is what it means to have biblical boldness – to proclaim clearly the gospel message without fear of repercussions. The greatness of the message and the king whom we represent as Christians is greater than any earthly punishment or trial that may come. Notice, however, that the apostles don’t personally attack the hearers of their proclamation but rather focus on the proclamation of the truth of the gospel.

Satan attempts to intimidate us with fear of physical attack but God the Father is for us, the Son of God intercedes for us, and the Spirit of God empowers us as believers to proclaim the gospel with confidence irrespective of what danger may follow. Beloved, do not let Satan trick you into thinking that the ridicule or attack of others should somehow stop you from proclaiming the glorious gospel of Christ. 

The outflow of rightly putting on the armor of God is that we boldly proclaim the gospel of Christ – literally pounding on the gates of hell which cannot withstand the power of Christ who promised to build his church upon himself!

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:15-18 ESV).

So church – be bold! Don’t be angry, mean, unkind, or spiteful, but with clear, fearless proclamation make known the mystery of the good news of the gospel where you are!

See you Sunday!

Pastor Kyle 

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