Today we will be discussing boldness and see how it relates to Church growth. We will also discuss the proper use of boldness in its context.
The Greek word that “boldness” is translated from is par-rhay-see-ya and also means “confidence”. We need to speak confidently, not arrogantly, when we teach Scriptures and the Gospel to people. Let’s see what the early Church went through that boldness was needed for.
Read Acts 4:13-22
“These men that are following God and giving people Grace are seeing results, and we are losing power because of it! How can we stop it and keep our thumbs securely on the people so that we don’t lose power!”
More legalism! “Surely these men, these simple fishermen in their common clothes will crumble at our words! We are so impressive and they so simple, surely when the people see us harshly rebuke them, they will look at them as fools and follow our rules again!”
It is the common practice of those in power to try to keep it and shut down freedom anywhere it happens to spring up. (discuss)
I love how Peter and John respond, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than God, you judge.”
What could these pharisees say? It is indeed better to listen to God, and both Peter and John, and the Pharisees knew this to be true. If the Pharisees argued with them on this point, they would further reveal their hypocrisy and give more credibility to Peter and John.
We need to be bold when proclaiming the love of God. We need to be bold when fighting legalism and hypocrisy, and we need to be bold in the face of the enemy and his minions.
Let’s look at this next passage. Read Acts 4:23-31
So, when they got back to Church with their fellow believers the other believers shared the wisdom to not rock the boat right? They shared the wisdom of choosing a different place to preach Christ, right? They shared the wisdom of compromising and listening to man and then listening to God where it would be less effective, but also less offensive right?
No, they prayed for Boldness to continue. When God calls you to do something, He wants you to do it in the most effective place possible. Whose work is more important, man’s or God’s?
What we find is that they prayed for Boldness and God answered their prayer. Not only were Peter and John emboldened in their work, but the rest of the congregation was as well. This is an excellent principle for Church growth. Be Bold!