“But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict“
as you know, we were bold
The word “bold” means to speak freely, openly, fearlessly, express oneself freely. The Greeks used this word for speaking in a democratic assembly.
The gospel team had such confidence in God that they proclaimed the gospel without fear (Acts 4:13). The New Testament always uses this word in relation to proclaiming the gospel (Acts 9:27, 29; 13:46; 14:3). Fear is why most people do not share their faith. They fear ridicule and rejection. However, courage is necessary to move beyond the status quo. It takes courage to fly in the face of what people do not want to talk about. People are hypersensitive about certain subjects, and the gospel is one of them.
“…and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear” (Philippians 1:14).
Paul was no coward. He never trimmed his sails to make the gospel more pleasing. The gospel by its very essence stings and smarts those who hear it. It offends people, because it strips them of their religious defenses. The gospel shows people for what they are. No one likes that.
No one likes to communicate that, but this is part of the gospel message. That is why most Christians, including preachers want to remain in the safe cloister of the church. Everyone likes to be liked. If we love the Lord, we must set forth the unvarnished facts of the gospel. That means we have to reveal human nature in its stark reality.
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
”Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word…” (Acts 4:29).
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying 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” (Ephesians 6:17-20).
Fainter hearts would have quailed before such outrageous indignities heaped on them. The gospel team was not only innocent, but they were also Roman citizens. Stripes, stocks and satanic malice brought no white flag from Paul or his team. Instead of giving up at Philippi, he pressed on to Thessalonica. Rather than giving up, he advanced the gospel further. Rather than caving into terror and persecutions, the pressure he faced made him bolder to advance the cause of Christ. Persecution did not paralyze him.
Suffering for the gospel sharpens our boldness, if all things are spiritually equal.
No one can daunt people in ministry who have confidence in God. Nothing can drive them from telling about Christ and His gospel. They are far from the current consumer Christianity that seeks self-interest above all else. As the saying goes, “No pain, no gain.”
“For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me” (Philippians 1:29-30).
Most of us concern ourselves with self-protection, but the successful Christian life is no rosy bed of ease. Do you declare the gospel in spite of opposition, or do you fold up and silently steal away?