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Speaking the Word With All Boldness

Speaking the Word With All Boldness

by Paul O. Nichols

Published in
The Christian Informer
June, 2002

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Last updated:
June 2, 2002.

DURING THE PERSONAL MINISTRY OF JESUS while he was upon the earth, one of the outstanding features of His preaching was the boldness with which he spoke. He had this testimony "Lo, he speaketh boldly" (John 7:26). If one desires to know just how boldly Jesus spoke, one of the most outstanding examples is found in Matthew 23. No modern day preacher is any more bold or plain than Jesus was. The apostle Paul wrote to the brethren at Ephesus and asked them to pray for him that he would have the courage to speak the "mystery of the gospel" of Christ with boldness "as I ought to speak." If that was the way the gospel ought to be preached then, it is also the way it should be preached and taught now. If not, why not?


In the Scriptures there is abundant proof that the gospel was preached with boldness by the apostles and others in the early church. It was also preached plainly so people could understand it and would realize how important it was to heed and obey it. There was no contest among them to show how educated they were or what a large vocabulary they had acquired. They were not politicians and they made no effort to "tickle people's ears" with flowery speeches, nor appease those who were disgruntled or dissatisfied with the truth of God's word. The apostle Paul said, "Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech" (2 Corinthians 3:12).


Upon one occasion Peter and John, two of the Lord's apostles, were brought before the council of the Jews. They had healed a man who had been crippled since birth. Because of the miracle wrought in the name of Christ, he was now able to walk, and he even leaped with joy. The Jews heard of the miracle and saw the notoriety the apostles received, and they became jealous. These apostles defended themselves before the council and pointed out that what they did they did in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, whom the Jews had crucified. "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:1.3). Because of their relationship with the Lord they were bold, and the Jews took notice of the influence of Christ on them.

The council threatened these apostles and "commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus" (Acts 4:18). Upon their release, they went and joined themselves to other disciples and rehearsed what had taken place. And immediately they lifted up their voices in prayer to God. They offered praise to God and glorified Him and acknowledged His Son, Jesus. The Bible says, "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31).


The apostle Paul, when on a mission of persecution against the disciples of Christ was converted in Damascus, and right after his conversion he began to preach boldly that Jesus Christ was the Son of God (Acts 9:20). Later in Jerusalem when Paul (he was still called Saul at the time) "assayed to join himself to the disciples" the Bible says, "they were all afraid of him" (Acts 9:26). However, Barnabas, who later became Paul's traveling companion in the Lord's work, came to his defense. He "took him and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus" (9:27).

After Paul had the confidence of his brethren at Jerusalem "he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians; but they went about to slay him" (Acts 9:29). Because of the danger to Paul's life the disciples persuaded him to leave and they accompanied him to Ceasarea and sent him to Tarsus for his own safety. He remained in this area until Barnabas came and found him and persuaded him to come with him to the work in Antioch. Later they were separated from that work at the command of the Holy Spirit to another work which carried them far into other fields.


One of the places where Paul and Barnabas went on their first missionary journey was Iconium. The synagogue was the one sure place where they would find the people gathered together on the sabbath, and the Bible tells us, "Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace..." (Acts 14:3). They took advantage of the opportunity and spoke boldly the gospel of Christ teaching these people the way of salvation.

Notice in Acts 19:8, the scriptures record an incident that takes place in Ephesus. Once again this man of God went to the synagogue of the Jews, "and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God."

The New Testament preachers and teachers of the gospel of Christ followed the example of our Lord. When they had the opportunity to speak for Christ, they did it with boldness and conviction, and so should we.