“You talk about boldness a lot, but what does it mean?”
My co-laborer wrote a great article on this, The Meaning of Boldness, and I suggest you read it if you want the answer to this question.
Also, for your consideration, I want to offer some thoughts from my study.
The word “bold” in all of it’s forms (bold, boldly, boldness) is used 34 times in the KJV. In the O.T. it is used 3 times and in the N.T it is used 31 times. In these posts I am only going to look at the N.T. references that helped me understand the meaning of the word and/or the verses that are dealing with the topic of boldness in the proclamation of the gospel.
From a study of this word in scripture I see that it has the idea of speaking freely or outspoken, daring, and confidence. It’s characterized by expressing fearlessness in the face of danger. Therefore, I want to consider each of these areas of boldness and it’s relationship to speaking, confidence and fearlessness.
In Relation to Speaking
Boldness in the New Testament is many times connected with speaking (John 7:26). In the book of Acts we find that boldness is almost always connected with speaking, and even more so, speaking the Word of God (Acts 4:13, 29, 31; 9:27; 29, 13:46; 14:3; 18:26; 19:8). Boldness applied means to openly, clearly, and freely speak the Word of God in spite of prohibiting or unfavorable circumstances (persecution, human law, etc).
In Relation to Confidence
Boldness is not only connected with “speaking” but it is also connected with “confidence” (Hebrews 13:6). A person can boldly speak about “B” because they have confidence in “A”. Many times this confidence can be easily identified by the circumstances or because it is simply stated.
For example, 1 Thessalonians 2:2 says “we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God”. They could (“B”) speak unto them the gospel of God in unfavorable circumstances (2:2a) because of (“A”) their confidence in God.
The book of Acts, usually when telling us about those who were boldly speaking the Word of God, also tells us “in the name of who” they spoke (or who they had their confidence in to speak so openly on the subject they did).
As Christians our confidence to speak openly, clearly and freely about the Word of God comes from God. We have to take our eyes off of ourselves (or the current situation) and put them on Jesus. He is our confidence! In our preaching and teaching, He is the one and only that can give us the confidence to proclaim the gospel. Because of who He is (Lord), the authority that He has (all) and the power and promise in which he commissioned us to take the gospel to the world (Matthew 28:18-20) we can have full confidence in Him to stare into the face of fear as we speak the Word of His glorious grace!
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