be bold

By Shari Abbott, Reasons for Hope* Jesus

It’s clear throughout the Bible that as children of God we are also His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) and we are commissioned to share the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to proclaim the truths of the Bible.  We can do so boldly with confidence and courage knowing that He is with us always (Joshua 1:9, Matthew 2:20, Hebrews 13:5).

 In recent years, one of the best examples of courage and boldness in proclaiming God’s Word has been Franklin Graham.  He has made public statements on abortion and gay marriage, the growing influence of false religions, apostasy in the church, and much more.  In every case he has spoken the truths of God as revealed in the Bible, and has shared the gospel of saving grace in Jesus Christ. His boldness should be a witness and an encouragement to all of us.  He is doing as Paul spoke of in Ephesians chapter six. 

Ephesians 6:19-20 …that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Are we doing the same?  Speaking boldly as we ought to speak?  If not, why not?  In most cases, I contend, it is because we don’t believe we are equipped to do so.  Interestingly, Paul made this comment about boldly proclaiming the gospel after writing about all that we have been given to equip us.

The Whole Armor of God

Ephesians 6:11-20  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.    And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of Godpraying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints; and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 

We are all familiar with this passage about the “armor of God.” The Word tells us that it will protect us against the enemy, but that’s not the only purpose of this armor.  All too often when reading this passage, we stop at verse 18 and neglect the verse in which Paul tells that he prays to be empowered to speak boldly “to make known the mystery of the gospel.” 

Reading this passage with verses 19-20 in mind, we are reminded that we are very well equipped to be ambassadors for Christ with six pieces of armor:  1) the belt of truth,  2) the breastplate of righteousness, 3) the shoes of the gospel of peace, 4) the shield of faith, 5) the helmet of salvation and 6) the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.  Add to this the power of prayer and we are equipped to be victorious in all that we do.  All of these are gifts from God, as well as the utterances that He gives us from the Holy Spirit.

We are able to overcome any fear or doubt about our ability to speak boldly the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ when we truly believe that we have this armor and the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is only by believing better that we are emboldened to fulfill our commission to go out and preach the gospel.  Paul was so clearly commissioned by the Lord Himself, and the same is true for us:

Acts 26:17b-18 I [Jesus] send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. 

be_boldWe know that: “The Lord is…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9)  and, just like Paul, we are to share the truth of His saving grace so eyes might be opened and the lost might turn from darkness to light, from Satan to God.

 

Paul understood this was his duty, for he said:“Unto me … is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). To us also is this grace given, a grace that empowers and emboldens us to preach the “unsearchable riches of Christ.” Don’t waste your grace…use it…always remembering:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: 

for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one t

hat believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16 

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This week’s Got Questions?  — The Christian “Bar of Soap”  1 John 1:9

Easter Reflections:

Surely this was a righteous man. (a song from the centurion at the foot of the cross)

Are you Glad to see Jesus? 

Why do we call it good [Friday]?

Is “The Folded Napkin” (an Internet forward) true?

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