By Jake King
My particular lesson was, “Make Me a Servant in Boldness.” Let me share with you what I shared with them. Some time ago, I bought a poster at the store, “For-All-Bible” — a poster that’s now hanging on my office wall.
The poster has this great verse printed on it: “The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1).
Howard Strickland explained this verse well. He said, “A guilty conscience imagines accusers everywhere, while a clear conscience has boldness to face everyone.” Don’t do things that give you a guilty conscience, and then you can live life with boldness!
In the New Testament, in the book of Acts, we read about Christians who talked about Jesus with boldness. For example, the very last words in the book of Acts tell us about Paul “teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance” (Acts 28:31 ESV). We need to be like that. Don’t be ashamed to talk about Jesus. Be like Paul (and other early Christians). Boldly teach others about the Lord Jesus Christ!
There’s a great passage about boldness in the book of Hebrews. It’s a passage that talks about temptation. Here’s what it says: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16 NKJV).
The “time of need” in this context apparently refers specifically to times of temptation. When Satan is tempting you to sin, come boldly to God in prayer, and He will graciously and mercifully give you the help you need to resist the temptation (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:13).
Finally, there are several passages in 1 John that talk about boldness. The second chapter of 1 John tells us that if we abide in Christ, we can have “boldness” at His coming (1 John 2:28 ASV). The third and fourth chapters of 1 John tell us that if we are really loving people like we should, this gives us “boldness” before God (1 John 3:18-21 NRSV and 4:17-18 NRSV).
And the fifth, and final, chapter of 1 John says, “And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14 NRSV).
Notice that all of these passages have to do with our relationship to God. God wants us to have “boldness” in our relationship with Him.
And 1 John tells us how to have that — by abiding in Him, really loving other people like we should, and asking according to His will, we have boldness before God!
(Jake King is the preacher at Seneca Church of Christ. He can be reached at (417) 776-3077.)