29 Sep Gospel Boldness
Read: John 4
Last Sunday, Pastor Ken preached from Romans 6:15-23, communicating that enslavement to sin results in shame and eternal death, but enslavement to God results in sanctification and eternal life. This Sunday, Dr. Chuck Lawless, will preach from John 4, and we will consider what happens when we encounter Jesus Christ. As you prepare your heart for our corporate gathering, let these words from Milton Vincent serve to rekindle the fire in your heart for the Lord Jesus Christ. As we encounter Jesus on a daily basis through daily preaching the gospel to ourselves, we are filled with boldness to live to the glory of God alone, tell others about Christ, approach his throne of grace through prayer, and walk in the forgiveness and grace of Christ.
Boldness is critical. Without boldness, my life story will be one of great deeds left undone, victories left unwon, petitions left unprayed, and timely words unsaid. If I wish to live only a pathetically small portion of the life God has prepared for me, then I need no boldness. But if I want my life to bloom full and loom large for the glory of God, then I must have boldness – and nothing so nourishes boldness in me like the gospel!
The gospel gives me boldness first by banishing my greatest fear, the fear of God’s eternal wrath. Indeed, Christ bore God’s wrath upon Himself, not simply so I could escape that wrath on some future day, but also that I might be released from the daily fear of such wrath as I think ahead to judgment day. Because this fear hinders the ongoing work of God in me, the love of God continually expels this fear (whenever it appears) and nurtures within me a confident eagerness to face God on judgment day (1 Jn. 4:17-18). Living in the daily relief of this fear frees me up to continue being perfected in confidence by the love of God, and it also serves to put all other fears, especially the fear of man, into perspective (Matt. 10:28).
Additionally, the more I experience the life-transforming power of the gospel, the more confident I am in speaking it to others, both saved and lost (Rom. 1:15-16; 1 Cor. 1:18). I know what the gospel can do in people’s lives if they would believe the fullness of it, because I see what it is doing in me and in others. Therefore, I have increasing boldness to speak the whole gospel to others (Acts 20:26-27), even amid opposition (Acts 4:29-31).
Also, the more I comprehend what God has done for me through Christ, the more I find myself confidently coming before God in prayer (Heb. 4:16; 10:19-22), speaking to Him in situations in which I formerly would have shrunk from Him, and offering requests that I formerly would have been too timid to offer (due either to the largeness of the request or my own sinful unworthiness). With greater boldness in prayer comes an increased enjoyment of God and the bounty that He gives, due simply to the fact that I was daring enough to ask for what was needed (James 4:2).
Preaching the gospel to myself each day nourishes within me a holy brazenness to believe what God says, enjoy what He offers, and do what He commands. Admittedly, I don’t deserve to be a child of God and I don’t deserve to be free of sin’s guilt and power. I don’t deserve the staggering privilege of intimacy with God, nor any other blessing that Christ has purchased for me with His blood. I don’t even deserve to be useful to God. But by the grace of God I am what I am and I have what I have, and I hereby resolve not to let any portion of God’s grace prove vain in me (1 Cor. 15:9-10)! And to the degree that I fail to live up to this resolve, I will boldly take for myself the forgiveness that God says is mine and continue walking in His grace. This is my manifesto, my daily resolve; and may God be glorified by this confidence that I place in Him.
“My Manifesto,” in A Gospel Primer for Christians, by Milton Vincent
Song List for Sunday
1. “How Great Thou Art,” Arr. by Paul Baloche
2. “Great I Am,” by New Life Worship
3. “Man of Sorrows,” by Hillsong Live
4. “Facing a Task Unfinished,” by Keith and Kristyn Getty
5. “Let Your Kingdom Come,” by Sovereign Grace Music