What does the word bold or boldness remind you of or bring to mind? Perhaps (1) a person who has the courage to act; (2) the opposite of fear; or (3) a forward person. Webster defines the word bold as “daring; fearless; audacious.”
There is a great need in our day for members of the Lord’s church to be fearless in the Lord and His work. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Tim. 1:7). Solomon wrote, “the righteous are bold as a lion” (Prov. 28:1). It is said of Paul and Barnabas that they “waxed bold” when they turned to the Gentiles with the Gospel (Acts 13:46). Esaias (Isaiah) was said to be “very bold” by Paul in Romans 10:20, and Paul’s boldness in preaching the Gospel and in doing the work of the Lord are mentioned a number of times (II Cor. 10:1-2; 1:21; I Thess. 2:2). Paul even mentioned the boldness by which some preached the Gospel by virtue of “waxing confident in my bonds” (Phil. 1:14).
Will you dare to be bold? As a Christian you must be daring and bold in many areas. Don’t confuse being bold with being a daredevil which is recklessness or foolishness. What are some of the areas in which we must be bold?
We must be bold in teaching the Word of God. This is to follow the example of first-century Christians (Acts 4:11-13). Their boldness was noticed. We must never shy away from preaching the Truth in all seasons (II Tim. 4:1-2). Boldness in preaching God’s Truth does not exclude love and kindness. Paul, who “was bold in our God to speak unto you the Gospel of God, with much contention,” also admonished, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (I Thess. 2:2; Eph. 4:15). So it is quite obvious that one does not eliminate the other. Both are enjoined.
We must be bold in rejecting the ways of the world. We are not to be “conformed” to the world; instead we are to be “transformed” (Rom. 12:1-2). The world is in darkness (I John 5:19). As Christians we are to “let our lights shine before men” (Matt. 5:16). Of course when we do this the world will think us “strange” (I Pet. 4:4). So it requires boldness to stand up and be different and to teach others to do so as well.
We must be bold in standing for the Truth. It is not always popular to stand for the Lord and His Word. But we must stand! Paul urged the saints at Corinth to “Be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (I Cor. 15:58). And he challenged the church at Ephesus to “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:10-11). Standing and boldly declaring the truth will make enemies (Gal. 4:16). However, we must boldly stand for the Truth; it is the only message that will free men from sin and bondage (John 8:32).
We must have boldness in our leaders as they lead God’s people. We live in challenging times due to change-agents in the Lord’s church. These times demand bold, courageous leadership. Efficient, knowledgeable leaders with boldness in leading God’s people would have prevented many of the problems the church has experienced in the past 40-50 years due to liberalism. Fearfulness will not get the job done! We need leaders like God wants. See Exodus 18:21. Thank God for faithful, fearless elders who boldly lead as God directs through His Word.
There are other areas where boldness is demanded that space does not permit us to discuss. But let each one of us resolve to be bold in the Lord, and not fear what men can do to us (Matt. 10:28).
Paul M. Wilmoth