On Sunday we continued with our current series; IN // HIM.
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. [2 Corinthians 1:20]
Over the next few weeks we will be unpacking, declaring, and receiving the promises that we have “in Christ”. We have great expectations in what God is going to do throughout this series - we believe we will see people receive healing, breakthrough, and freedom.
If you weren’t able to join us over the weekend, please feel free to keep reading; I am about to catch you up.
BOLDNESS IN CHRIST
This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. [Ephesians 3:11-12]
The promises in Christ are less of a "you've got it or you don't" and more of a "where do you sit on a continuum". If at one end you find timidity and at the other end is boldness; where would you sit? Our hope is that in reading this, you'll move towards the boldness you can have in Christ!
There are two kinds of boldness. A boldness that draws and a boldness that sends. A boldness that is relational and a boldness that is missional. A boldness that is onward and a boldness that is outward. A boldness that comes and a boldness that goes.
So now we come freely and boldl to where love is enthroned, to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strength us in our time of weakness. [Hebrews 4:16]
It is not in our own ability, goodness, or perfection that we would have this boldness. Our boldness is found in Jesus. We have access to come boldly to Him! The debt is paid. We are free! We are loved! We are marked with purpose! We have boldness in the power and authority of Jesus. He has the final word. Not fear. Not anxiety. Not sin or any failure. In Jesus, our lives are stamped "approved". Sealed by His shed blood. In his own words, "It is finished!" Oh the boldness we have to draw near. The call to everyone is this, Come as you are! Come to Jesus! As the writer of Hebrews says, "we can come freely and boldly".
But there is another kind of boldness. A boldness that goes. A boldness that's missional. A boldness that shares. A boldness that speaks.
BOLDNESS: TO SPEAK FREELY
Now when they [the Jewish council] 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]
The remarkable factor of Peter and John is that they were simple fishermen - they weren't skilled interpreters of scripture nor did they travel the long educational path to get to this moment of sharing the gospel, so boldly. These two men had no prior qualification to put them in this place of boldness but it was clear they had been in the presence of Jesus which was more than enough for them to be so bold.
See, boldness is more than general confidence. Boldness is not red faced passion or the domain of the extrovert. Boldness doesn't mean zeal enough to raise your voice. The boldness of Peter and John was in what they said about Jesus or more so how outspoken they were about the identity of Jesus. There was no room for doubt and they made sure all the leaders knew and understood their boldness. The leaders knew through the boldness of these two men, that there was no other explanation other than they had really been in the presence of Jesus.
Boldness has to do with speaking — which is not so much about how we speak, but in what we say about Jesus, even when we presume our listeners won’t always be happy with it.
The first church was birthed from boldness. When they met together, they received power from the Holy Spirit. There were many demonstrations of signs and wonders which includes salvation - the greatest miracle of all. The disciples and people of the first church were bold in sharing about Jesus - there is power in testimony. Just as in the early days of the first church, there is power in your testimony, your story. Be bold. We need to tell more people about our encounters with Jesus, we need to tell them all about the time spent in His presence.
The Greek word behind “boldness” is “parrhesia”.
F. F. Bruce translates parrhesia as “freedom of speech”. It has five occurrences of in Acts and they’re all connected to speaking. Parrhesia is translated in Acts 4:13 as boldness. Acts is the book bookended with the call to parresia boldness.. Here is the parting thought in the last verse of Acts which includes Parrhesia boldness...
He [Paul] lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all oldness and without hindrance. [Acts 28:30-:31]
We are called to be outspoken about the identity and significance of the Lord Jesus Christ. Live are transformed and the church advances through the boldness of Christians sharing the good news of the gospel; who Jesus is and what He has done for them.
THE CHALLENGE TO BOLDNESS
When tensions are high and Christians are marginalized, our witness can feel increasingly complex. Articulating the person and work of Jesus doesn’t appear to answer the questions that confront us the most. People don’t want to hear about Jesus, they want to hear what we think about the issues. The issues — that’s the temptation. A position over a person.
We need to be very careful that our focus isn't found in our position of the next hot topic. There are important questions in our world, and our conviction is indispensable, but the most radical, controversial thing that we will ever say is “Jesus is Lord”.
We need to be outspoken about the identity and significance of Christ and what he has done. This is the boldness we are called to - to share the good news of Jesus Christ, the hope of this world. We are called to speak for Jesus. We are called to speak about the person not the position, and the relationship not the belief system.
HOW DO I GET IT? A PRAYER FOR BOLDNESS
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.” [Acts 4:29-30]
The whole church was praying for boldness - The courage to continue to speak out - share their faith in the midst of fierce opposition.
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. [Acts 4:31]
The Holy Spirit wants to fill us with this kind of boldness. The best part? We don’t have to manufacturer it ourselves, we don’t have to be born with it, it’s not a personality trait. Instead, it’s the outworking of the Holy Spirit within us. The whole church was praying - the whole church needs to speak.
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of powe and love and self-control. [2 Timothy 1:7]
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon yo, and you will be my
witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [Acts 1:8]
We are called to be powerful witnesses for Jesus.
The call is to know Jesus and speak for Jesus. To come and go! We carry good news; the hope of the world is Jesus! We get to share HIM with the world around us. Our family, friends, work colleagues, school mates all need to hear this good news! This is what it means to be a christian. To come and to go. In this confusing world, now more than ever it is time for us to speak. This is how He has called us to live. He has entrusted the greatest message to us. Do not fear, be bold.
There is boldness in Him!
Prayer: Holy Spirit fill me with boldness to come to Jesus and fill me with boldness to go. Give me the courage to speak freely to those you have placed in my world. I choose to be your mouthpiece today. Open my eyes and heart to the opportunities around me I pray. In Jesus name, Amen.