Boldness is an act of bravery by acting or speaking out regardless of the risks or the consequences. You are at work, and a co-worker you want to be friends with asks you if you are one of those born-again Christians. How would you answer? You are in class, and the professor says, “Anyone, with any brains, rejects the idea of a God who created the universe.” How would you respond? Would you say nothing? Would you deny your faith in Jesus? Or, would you be bold and, with gentleness and respect, answer truthfully without apology? From a Christian worldview perspective, you should not deny Christ but rather speak boldly about your faith in a way that the listener could understand. Biblical boldness is not an act of being brash, aggressive, and overpowering to make a point, but instead courageously speaking the truth when necessary. We, as Christians, are commanded to be bold.
“To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 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” (Ephesians 6:18-20).
“Even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be shaken.” But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you. But respond with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who slander you may be put to shame by your good behavior in Christ…” (1 Peter 3: 14-16).
Worldly boldness is to persuade strongly, through verbal confrontation and or bullying, to be heard and accepted by those present. Kindness, honor, and sensitivity are thrown to the wind. For the Christian, boldness comes from an act of the Holy Spirit, who urges us to speak out the truth, in love, even when others might not welcome it. When prompted by the Holy Spirit, it is necessary to call out lies and deceit without fear of rejection of those involved. If your words are spoken with kindness and hope that truth would be considered and embraced, God will get the glory.
One of the most significant examples of boldness found in the Bible is in Acts 2. When Jesus was arrested and carried off to be judged, whipped, and then hung on a cross to die, the disciples were terrified and went into hiding except for John. After Jesus rose from the dead, He went directly to the disciples so they could see that Jesus did what He said He would do. He continued to walk with His followers and teach them for another 50 days. On His last day on earth, Jesus ascended into Heaven, and then He sent the Holy Spirit to indwell the Apostles and all believers of Jesus. The formerly timid disciples became fearlessly bold. Peter, who denied Jesus 3 times, addressed 3,000 people as to who Jesus is, why He died and rose again and what believers are to do.
Acts 2:37-40 “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
Acts 4:29-31 “And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”
In these present days of great deception and widespread corruption in our culture and churches, we need truth that is spoken and lived out from the Christian community as never before. We need boldness that does not waver from the truth of God but instead spoken with love, wisdom, and humility that will be a beacon of light in the darkness. Today, people are desperate for truth, and you, as bold Christians, are called by God to be His hands and feet that will bring hope to many outside of the church walls. That is why we must take God’s command very seriously:
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).