Solomon said, “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Pro. 28:1). Scripture enjoins and illustrates the practice of boldness in the lives of Christians, but what exactly is it? Thayer defines the term as “freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech; free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, and assurance.” Note some examples of boldness in scripture.

Boldness is seen in the courageous way the early church publicly proclaimed the Gospel. Acts 4:31 says the Christians at Jerusalem “…spoke the word of God with boldness.” Paul preached boldly at Damascus and Jerusalem (Acts 9:27-29). He and Barnabas spoke boldly in the Lord at Iconium (Acts 14:3) and he did the same in the synagogue at Ephesus (Acts 19:8), Thessalonica (1 Thess. 2:2), and many other places (2 Cor. 3:12).

Paul characterized his writing as bold. Romans 15:15 says, “Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points…” In 2 Corinthians 7:4 he said, “Great is my boldness of speech toward you…” He even wrote of boldness to describe his own conviction and desire to courageously glorify Christ in His body by life or death (Phil. 1:20).

Boldness is also utilized in our approach to God. Hebrews 4:16 says that we may come “boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” We can also look to eternity with boldness. John wrote, “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).

Boldness does not require a loud voice or a certain personality. It has more to do with courage and conviction than it does with style. One can be bold in proclaiming or defending truth of God from a pulpit, with pen and paper, or in a personal bible study. One can be confident, or bold, with a loud voice and outgoing personality, or with a quiet volume and reserved personality. Whoever the person and whatever the setting, God’s people can, and must, be confident and firm in their faith and conviction, and courageous to stand for the truth, regardless of consequence. That is boldness.

– Cody Westbrook