Summary: An undeniable sign of the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit is boldness. What is boldness? "It is the inner delight of a liberated person expressed in daring."
THE GIFT OF BOLDNESS
ACTS 4:1 8
An undeniable sign of the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit is boldness. What is boldness? "It is the inner delight of a liberated person expressed in daring."
In the midst of human weakness and the timid nature of religion, the great need is for boldness...boldness in loving...forgiving...speaking the truth in love...and obedience to the will of God that is revealed to us in prayer.
Boldness is the key to the 4th chapter of Acts, and the center point of this section is found in verse 13: "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus."
The word boldness means "telling all" "to pour forth, like pouring water out of a cup." It's the conviction, communication and character that are based on undeniable truth and experience.
Boldness is something that captures attention...compelling people to listen. It combines the emphasis of "I know this is true because it happened to me" with a clear "Thus saith the Lord."
It is rooted in scripture and also personal communion with the Lord. There is no apology for it or in it. True boldness, which comes from being with Jesus, is not brash, hard, or arrogant...but attractive and clear, confident because we know that He has won the battle with death, Satan, and the world.
The apostles had a holy boldness. They were possessed by a great passion that was motivated by their experience of Jesus, His resurrection, and His return in power in the Holy Spirit.
Someone, not just something, had happened to them both before and after Pentecost. They were the new creation, filled with the excitement of the promise Jesus had made them:
"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father."
The greater works of quantity, not quality, were being done. Christ was unloosed in the world. The apostles were filled with His Spirit; thousands had responded to their preaching of the gospel; a lame man had been healed...and nothing was impossible now!
I want to look at the source, the motive and the nature of authentic boldness over the next few weeks. Let's begin by reading Acts 4:1 4 and look at the boldness of the resurrection.
The motive of the boldness of the apostles was the resurrection... Christ's and their own. They were the people for whom Christ's resurrection was the central fact of history...and the focus of their faith in a living Lord.
The experience of the empty tomb, now maximized by the power of the Holy Spirit, gave them a mission and a message. The resurrection had enabled them to be born again...and now their character was being transformed by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
The more they focused on the victory of the empty tomb, and the fire of the His Spirit burning inside them...the more they sensed a new freedom from self centeredness, competitiveness, pride, and defensiveness.
What had happened to them, they wanted to happen through them to everyone! That was the energy and the fire behind their bold preaching.
This was the irrepressible dynamic in their lives...they had died to themselves and had been raised to a death defying, life affirming, everything's possible, contagious faith!! GLORY TO GOD!!
Christ's resurrection is the source of disillusionment. Now, usually when we think of being disillusioned, we look at it in a negative light. But the true meaning is to set free of illusions.
Think of the false illusions, or deceptions, about God...life and the afterlife...death...and the power of Satan that are being promoted in the world today.
So many of the so called stars and idols, especially in the entertainment field, have set up a barrage of lies and deceptions about these things...and millions are buying into it.
But the worst that man can do is only a prelude to the best that God has to offer!
Rebellious man thought it had the final word at Calvary, only to find that Christ had the last word on Easter morning. The illusion that death had the ultimate power over life was exposed as false.
Christ told Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die" ...and this became the charter of a bold people.
In v. 2 we see that the apostles "were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.