What if we could see into the future? What if I knew every physical injury I will sustain in the coming year? What if I knew every emotional pain that I will face in 2009? What if I knew all my successes and failures that will unfold? What if I was able to see a picture of the church here at the end of 2009? The fact of the matter is, I don’t know any of these things or anything that will have transpired by the end of the year. What I do know is that God commands the Christian to approach the coming days of his life with “boldness.”
To be a child of God is to be “bold.” The lexicons define the word “boldness” (parrhesia) as “freespokenness, openness, frankness, confidence, assurance.” The Scriptures are not advocating a manner of arrogance, a cocky, overconfident, and conceited personality, but a disposition that says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel... ”The word parrhesia is found 31 times in the NT and appears to uniformly indicate one who speaks and approaches life in such a way of confidence that says “I have nothing to hide.”
Sometimes people are hasty with their confidence in a man, a corporation, or a sports team. When these entities falter, such a one is left in shame. The child of God confidently approaches life with hope because, unlike these worldly entities, God will not fail him.
Precise areas of boldness revealed in the Scriptures:
* The Christian is bold in the hope of salvation through Christ (Heb. 3:5-6).
* The Christian is bold to approach God in prayer knowing that He hears and understands our pleas (Heb. 4:16; 1 John 5:14).
* The Christian is bold to approach God in fellowship now and into eternity because our sins are forgiven (Heb. 10:19).
* The Christian will have boldness to face Jesus when He comes again rather than being filled with shame (1 John 2:28).
* The Christian is neither ashamed of the gospel message nor of Christ (Eph. 6:19; Phil. 1:20).
* Without shame or fear the Christian boldly proclaims the gospel message (Acts 4:31; 28:31; 2 Cor. 3:12).
* The Christian is bold (confident) in his fellow Christian’s faith (2 Cor. 7:4).
* The Christian faces those who would treat us shamefully for our faith with boldness (Heb. 10:32-35).
Where will this kind of boldness lead Christians in 2009? Only the Lord knows, but for those so bold, the Lord will protect and bless. No matter what awaits us in the coming year, God tells us to approach every day with boldness. Let us not be fearful of failures, pain, nor strife but let us boldly live the Christian life and tell the gospel message.
- John C. Robertson (adapted); via the weekly bulletin of the Harrisburg church of Christ in Harrisburg, IL. You may visit their website athttp://www.harrisburgchurchofchrist.org