Paul’s a pretty verbose guy in our New Testament. Based on the number of words in the New Testament, Paul is responsible for 28% of it. Saul (who became Paul) was a Pharisee, a tent-maker, and a Jew-hater. The only reason he became bold for the Gospel of God was because he met Christ on the road to Damascus. God literally stopped him in his tracks and turned his life around.
Now, if God can use someone as terrible as that – he can certainly use you and me.
Saul had to prove to the early church fathers that he had truly changed – who would have believed that a Jew-killer had turned Jesus-lover? He had originally set out on the road to Damascus to capture Christians and bring them back as prisoners to Jerusalem. But then God intervened.
After his conversion on the Damascus road, it wasn’t just Saul’s name that changed. It was his whole life. Now Paul, an apostle of the Lord, spoke boldly for the Lord and brought many to Jesus. He wasn’t afraid to speak up, even when he was told to be silent. He unashamedly proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth, and His God-inspired words live on today in our Scriptures.
Paul was bold.
And he encouraged us to be bold in our faith and in our lives.
Not only through life, but also through death.
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:20-21)
Paul wasn’t afraid of offending people. He wasn’t afraid of saying something wrong. He wasn’t even afraid of dying. How many of us can say that we are as bold as Paul in our faith? Are we boldly proclaiming Christ in everything that we say and do? Are we doing everything we can to further the kingdom of God, to bring people to Him?
And if we are proclaiming Christ boldly,
are we attributing what He does to Him or are we taking the credit?
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:7-9)
This month, our writers are sharing stories of boldness. Won’t you join us as we discover how God is being glorified in our boldness in proclaiming Christ?