Why is it that there are Christians today that do not have more boldness than those in the Bible? We shall start with a little bit of background information before we get to the main question.
What Does Bible Say about Christian Boldness?
In the first part of Acts 3, Peter heals a crippled beggar who had laid at the gate of the temple since he was a child, for he had never walked. The man asked for alms as was customary for those who were poor and lame to do. “Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk’” (Acts 3:6).
The man took Peter’s hand and stood up, and then leaping he entered the temple praising God. The people who saw the lame man walking were filled with wonder and amazement at how this came about.
When Peter realized what was going on, he questioned them. Why are you all standing around here gawking at this and looking perplexed? What has just happened came from Peter when he said,
“The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go” (Acts 3:13).
Basically speaking, Peter was chastising them in a subtle way.
Now, in the first part of Acts 4, Peter and John face the Sanhedrin, the supreme council of Jews that controlled the civil and religious laws of the land. They were made up of members from both the Pharisees, the civil police, and the Sadducees, the religious police.
The Sadducees are less stressed over the healing than they are Peter's demand that Jesus became alive once again, as the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection from the dead. The temple guards capture Peter and John; however, it is past the point of no return.
At present, more individuals had begun to follow Jesus. The Sanhedrin ought to have accepted this as a clue; the more the church is persecuted, the more it spreads.
They ask how Peter got the ability to heal the man. Peter advises them, in addition to the fact that Jesus is alive, He's the Messiah of the Jews and the only way to salvation.
Acts 4:13-22, covers the response of the Sanhedrin to Peter's indicting statement: that he and John healed a lame man by the power of Jesus' name. The Sanhedrin are baffled to find out that the followers of Jesus, the man they had murdered, are in Jerusalem, preaching and healing and assembling more supporters.
The Sanhedrin wants them far removed before they become excessively well known. So, they start by gradually prohibiting Peter and John to preach about Jesus. It is a clear mutual benefit: either these clueless everyday citizens will quit informing everybody about Jesus or they will defy an order and be helpless against more prominent discipline.
And now we come to the heart of the message. Acts 4:23-31 finds the believers of Jesus appealing to God for boldness when facing oppression. Jesus guaranteed them they would see genuine oppression (Matthew 10:16-25), yet this is the first experience of persecution they have had straightforwardly.
Peter and John previously told the Sanhedrin they will follow God, not their worldly orders (Acts 4:19-20). They currently return to the next believers of Christ to tell them what is coming. The people confirm that all that happened to Jesus was by God's sovereign arrangement, and they pray that they will stay as dedicated during their own tribulations.
The believer’s prayer began by first giving God praise. They told God of their issue then they requested assistance. They did not request that God eliminate the issue, just to help them get through it. This is an example for Christians to follow when we go to the Lord in prayer.
How Can Christians Have Boldness Today?
On occasion, we may petition God to eliminate our issue, and He may decide to do as such, however, we should understand that God may regularly leave the issue and give us the courage and the strength to confront the problem (Psalm 103:1; Psalm 107:1; Isaiah 61:1).
They put the circumstance into the right context when they were confronted with oppression. Since they had committed themselves to the truth of what the apostles had taught and the strengthening of prayer (Acts 2:42), they can properly decipher what is going on and decide the right reaction.
They comprehend that Jesus has authority over any common authority who might attempt to prevent them from educating individuals concerning Him (John 19:10-11; Job 12:17-25). In an enormous part, His power is because truthfully speaking, He made the earth (John 1:1-3; Genesis 1).
Boldness does not equal hastiness or recklessness. It requires courage to press on through our feelings of dread and fear and do what we know is the right thing to do. Like the disciples here, we ought to pray together for the courage that we stand in need of.
To obtain that boldness, we should pray for the Holy Spirit’s power to give us courage, like Paul did when he was in prison. We should look for opportunities to talk about Christ with families and friends, as well as with others.
We need to comprehend that social discomfort, embarrassment, and rejection are not persecutions. We can start wherever we are, and be bolder with the trivial things, whatever they may be (Ephesians 6:19; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; Acts 2:2-4; Acts 16:2; Philippians 1:14).
That does not mean that we should go around with pride on our shoulders in arrogance. We are to have a humble attitude. Humility does not mean being a doormat for others and boldness does not mean being ill-mannered and rude. Remaining in the proper mentality begins with the demeanor that we pick.
Respecting ourselves more than we should prevents us from being who Christ wants us to be on our Christian walk, yet God gives approval to those of a modest disposition, and who have a humble attitude (1 Peter 5:10; Ephesians 3:11-12; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).
Why Does Boldness Matter?
At times, the Bible shows us individuals who are appealing to God for things they already knew that God wanted. Daniel counted the years until it was the ideal opportunity for God to reestablish Jerusalem and afterward implored that God would get it going (Daniel 9:2; 16-19).
In Jesus' prayer for His disciples, He requests God to watch over the testimony of the disciples, which was God's arrangement from the beginning (John 17:15).
Similarly, the heads of the church in Jerusalem appeal to God for the strength to express God's Word and the signs to approve what they were teaching to others (Acts 4:29-30).
If they already know that this is God's will, for what reason do they petition God for it? Petitioning God for His will shows that we are prepared to submit to His direction. It readies our hearts for the progressions that are going to occur.
It is a method of venturing forward in His work. It is best to have a disposition that is appropriately submissive to God. It is powerful to express that eagerness in words for a particular objective at a particular time.
We are to be bold in our walk with Christ, but we are to have the right heart condition in doing so.
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Chris Swanson answered the call into the ministry over 20 years ago. He has served as a Sunday School teacher, a youth director along with his wife, a music director, an associate pastor, and an interim pastor. He is a retired Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman with over 30 years of combined active and reserve service. Chris holds a Doctor of Ministry, an M.B.A., and a B.S. in health administration. Chris and his wife Vicki, of 25 years, reside in Madison, Alabama. You can visit my site here.