Category Archives: Boldness

Wesley’s Expectation of Persecution

wesleyJohn Wesley was riding along on his horse one day when it dawned on him that three days had passed in which he had suffered no persecution. Not a brick or an egg had been thrown for three days.

Alarmed, he stopped his horse and exclaimed, “Could it be that I have sinned and am backslidden?”

Slipping from his horse, Wesley went down on his knees and began interceding with God to show him where, if any, there was a fault.

A rough fellow on the other side of the hedge, hearing the prayer, looked across and recognized the preacher. “I’ll fix that Methodist preacher,” he said, picking up a brick and tossing it over at him. It missed its mark and fell harmlessly beside John. Whereupon Wesley leaped to his feet joyfully exclaiming, “Thank you, Lord! I know I still have Your presence.”

J.G. Morrison

Christ’s Imputed Righteousness

In John Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress, Christian is on his way to the Holy City. Along the way he meets Apollyon (or Satan). Satan accuses Christian of being unfaithful to God. Christian replies, “Wherein, O Apollyon! have I been unfaithful to him?” Satan answers, “Thou didst faint at first setting out, when thou wast almost choked in the Gulf of Despond; thou didst attempt wrong ways to be rid of thy burden, whereas thou shouldest have stayed till thy Prince had taken it off; thou didst sinfully sleep and lose thy choice thing; thou wast, also, almost persuaded to go back at the sight of the lions; and when thou talkest of thy journey, and of what thou hast heard and seen, thou art inwardly desirous of vain-glory in all that thou sayest or doest.”

Here Satan reminds Christian of his many sins. He accuses him of being unfaithful. But listen to Christian’s response: “All this is true, and much more which thou hast left out; but the Prince whom I serve and honour is merciful, and ready to forgive; but, besides, these infirmities possessed me in thy country…and I have groaned under them, been sorry for them, and have obtained pardon of my Prince.”

Christian was using the breastplate of righteousness to protect him from the ruthless accusations of the enemy. He reminded himself and Satan that he had been pardoned of his sin and he was clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Mark Bubeck says, “There is no stronger protection against Satan’s accusations about our unworthiness than to keep this truth of ‘imputed righteousness’ ever before our minds.”

Quotes on Boldness

  • We fear men so much because we fear God so little. One fear curses another. When man’s terror scares you, turn your thoughts to the wrath of God – William Gurnall
  • There is nothing more dangerous on this planet than people that are not afraid of dying – Josef Tson
  • Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it – William Penn

How the Cry of a Victim Was More Powerful Than the Gun of a Robber

This account appeared in The Dallas Morning News on October 28, 2001, in an article titled "Gunman faces off with prayer's power" by columnist Steve Blow.

Sherman Jackson was a little late for the share service at his church on a recent Sunday night.
But that was OK. He had quite a story to share once he got there.
Sherman, 36, and his 7-year-old daughter, Alexa, had stopped for gas on their way to church. This was on Northwest Highway, where Garland and Mesquite and Dallas all meet.
As they were about to drive away, a 30-ish fellow walked up. "Hey, man, I need your help," he said. "Could you please help me jump-start my car? I'll pay you to help me."
Sherman fretted a moment about being late for church. Then he chided himself for thinking of that over helping someone. So he invited the fellow to get in the front seat. Alexa was in back. And they drove off.
They hadn't gone far when the man reached into his pocket. "I thought he was trying to get out some change to pay me for helping him," Sherman said. But no.
"He pulled out a revolver with his right hand and placed his left hand on my shoulder. He pointed the revolver into my rib cage and said, "OK, man, this is for real. You give me all of your money right now, or I'm going to unload this gun on you."
Sherman was terrified, of course. And mad at himself for putting his daughter in danger.
"OK, look, here's all I have on me," he said, pulling out his money clip. "Take it all."
But the robber didn't believe him. "That's not all. Give it all to me," he said, shoving the gun harder into Sherman's ribs. Sherman, a Garland insurance agent, keeps Gideon Bibles in his car with a dollar bill tucked in each one. He gives them to the homeless. The gunman spotted one of those bills sticking out and began to scream at Sherman: "You lied to me! There is more money here."
Something came over Sherman just then, and he began to pray out loud. "Father in heaven, hear my cry and deliver me from this present evil . . ."
He felt a sudden calm. "I lost all consciousness of concern and worry," he said. "A boldness took over."
He slowed the car and began to make a U-turn. The gunman screamed, "What are you doing?"
"This car is being turned around," Sherman replied, "and I am not taking orders from you anymore."
The man put the gun against Sherman's chest. "You don't get it, man. You mean nothing to me. I'll pull this trigger." "No, you don't understand," Sherman cut him off.
"Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world. My Jesus is stronger than your gun."
He could see the gunman tug on the trigger. The hammer drew back. But Sherman didn't flinch. He pulled over and stopped.
"I want to tell you about Jesus," he said to the gunman. The man wavered a moment, lowered his gun, and then dropped his head. When he looked up, he was crying. "I'm so sorry, man. I'm so, so sorry," he said. "I was going to shoot you."
"Don't worry about it. I forgive you," Sherman said. And then he began to tell the man about new life through belief in Jesus.
Sherman urged the man to go on to church with him, but he declined. He asked Sherman to drive him to his car at a store.
Along the way, the man began to tell Sherman about all his problems. He said his name was Mike and reached out to shake Sherman's hand. Sherman continued talking to him about starting life anew with God.
As they neared the grocery, Sherman said, "And by the way, Mike, I want my money clip back."
"Do what?!" Mike exclaimed. But then he meekly handed it over.
"And," Sherman went on, "you are keeping this New Testament, and you are going to read it like you never read anything else before. And I'm going to be praying for you, Mike, that God will come into your life."
They pulled alongside Mike's car. "He got out," Sherman said, "with the revolver in one hand, the Bible in the other hand, and tears in his eyes."
And Sherman drove on to church.
-The Dallas Morning News

Personal Evaluation of Boldness

  • When is the last time you stood alone on the side of right when it cost you something?
  • When you hear of someone being falsely accused, do you remain silent or clarify what you know to be right even when it is unpopular?
  • The last time God prompted you to witness to a stranger, did you do it or remain silent?
  • Have you followed through on asking forgiveness of those you know you have wronged?
  • Have you dedicated your life to fufill God’s calling, and are you determined to make whatever sacrifices God requires?
  • What Biblical convictions do you have that you are willing to die for?

Learn How One Man Gained Power Over Fear

A man was diagnosed with cancer and was told he had only a few months to live. Soon after that, a burglar was trapped in a nearby store. The man volunteered to go in and apprehend the criminal. He reasoned that if he died in the process, he would become a hero rather than experience an uneventful death. The burglar was so overwhelmed by this man’s boldness that he surrendered. 

The man volunteered for other acts of bravery and astonished everyone. But then the doctors informed him that they had misdiagnosed his case. He did not have cancer and would live. His fear returned, and his courage and power were lost.

Achieving True Success

John Knox

John Knox was a 16th century reformer. He boldly spoke the truth to his large congregation in Scotland but was arrested for it and chained to the oars of a galley ship. During long months of pulling on oars, he built not only his physical strength but also strength of fervent prayer. His cry was, “O God! Give me Scotland or I die!” His life and work for God became so powerful that the Queen of Scotland is quoted as saying, “I fear the prayers of John Knox more than all the assembled armies of Europe.”

The record on the tomb of John Knox reads: “Here lies the man who never feared the face of clay.”

The General Took His Stand

Frederick the Great was a scoffer, but his great general, Von Zealand, was a Christian. One day at a gathering, the king was making coarse jokes about Jesus Christ and the whole place was ringing with guffaws.

Von Zealand arose swiftly and said, “Sire, you know I have not feared death. I am an old man. I soon shall have to go into the presence of One greater than yourself – the mighty God who saved me from my sin, the Lord Jesus Christ whom you are blaspheming against. I salute thee, sire, as an old man who loves his Saviour, on the edge of eternity.”

With trembling voice, Frederick replied, “General Von Zealand, I beg your pardon. I beg your pardon! I beg your pardon!”

The company silently dispersed.

How to Demonstrate Boldness

at Home

  • Consistently living out the character standards the family has set for themselves, even if others do not understand.
  • Being ready to explain to those outside the family the family’s commitment to following God’s Ways.
  • Going to one another in a loving spirit when he or she is not demonstrating good character.

at Work/School

  • Not being afraid to walk away from friends who are engaged in foolish or harmful activities.
  • Taking God-given opportunities to share your faith in Christ.

at Church

  • Refusing to listen to gossip.
  • Being willing to confront the compromise in another’s life in a spirit of humility.

Character Definitions of Boldness

  • Learning how to base words and actions on the authority of Scripture. Demonstrating the confidence that following the principles of Scripture will bring ultimate victory regardless of present opposition. Being willing to stand alone on the side of right even when it requires personal sacrifice (Character Clues Game)
  • Welcoming any suffering that comes from doing what is right, because it will produce a greater power of love (The Power for True Success)
  • Confidence that what I have to say or do is true, right, and just (Character First!)

Bible Verses Related to Boldness

Spend an evening (or several) looking at just one of these verses at a time. Discuss with your family what each verse or story teaches about the character quality; and give vital application of how this quality can be applied to your family. Choose several verses to memorize together as a family during the month. 

662 apotolmaw apotolmao ap-ot-ol-mah’-o

from 575 and 5111; TDNT-8:181,1183; v

AV-be very bold 1; 1

1) to assume boldness, make bold

Romans 10:20 But Esaias is very bold <662>, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.

2292 yarrew tharrheo thar-hreh’-o

another form for 2293; TDNT-3:25,315; v

AV-be bold 2, be confident 1, confident 1, have confidence 1, boldly 1; 6

1) to be of good courage, be of good cheer

2) to be bold

  • 2 Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident <2292>, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
  • 2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident <2292>, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
  • 2 Corinthians 7:16 I rejoice therefore that I have confidence <2292> in you in all things.
  • 2 Corinthians 10:1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold <2292> toward you: {in presence: or, in outward appearance}
  • 2 Corinthians 10:2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold <2292> when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. {think: or, reckon}
  • Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly <2292> say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

3954 parrhsia parrhesia par-rhay-see’-ah

from 3956 and a derivative of 4483; TDNT-5:871,794; n f

AV-boldness 8, confidence 6, openly 4, plainly 4, openly + 1722 2, boldly + 1722 1, misc 6; 31

1) freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech

1a) openly, frankly, i.e without concealment

1b) without ambiguity or circumlocution

1c) without the use of figures and comparisons

2) free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance

3) the deportment by which one becomes conspicuous or secures publicity

  • Mark 8:32 And he spake that saying openly <3954>. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.
  • John 7:4 For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly <3954>. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.
  • John 7:13 Howbeit no man spake openly <3954> of him for fear of the Jews.
  • John 7:26 But, lo, he speaketh boldly <3954>, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?
  • John 10:24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly <3954>. {make…: or, hold us in suspense}
  • John 11:14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly <3954>, Lazarus is dead.
  • John 11:54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly <3954> among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.
  • John 16:25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly <3954> of the Father. {proverbs: or, parables}
  • John 16:29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly <3954>, and speakest no proverb. {proverb: or, parable}
  • John 18:20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly <3954> to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.
  • Acts 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely <3954> speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. {let me: or, I may}
  • Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness <3954> of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
  • Acts 4:29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness <3954> they may speak thy word,
  • Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness <3954>.
  • Acts 28:31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence <3954>, no man forbidding him.
  • 2 Corinthians 3:12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech <3954>: {plainness: or, boldness}
  • 2 Corinthians 7:4 Great is my boldness of speech <3954> toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.
  • Ephesians 3:12 In whom we have boldness <3954> and access with confidence by the faith of him.
  • Ephesians 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly <3954>, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
  • Philippians 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness <3954>, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
  • Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly <3954>, triumphing over them in it. {in it: or, in himself}
  • 1 Timothy 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness <3954> in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. {used…: or, ministered}
  • Philemon 1:8 Wherefore, though I might be much bold <3954> in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient,
  • Hebrews 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence <3954> and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
  • Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly <3954> unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
  • Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness <3954> to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, {boldness: or, liberty}
  • Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence <3954>, which hath great recompence of reward.
  • 1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence <3954>, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
  • 1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence <3954> toward God.
  • 1 John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness <3954> in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. {our love: Gr. love with us}
  • 1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence <3954> that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: {in: or, concerning}

3955 parrhsiazomai parrhesiazomai par-hray-see-ad’-zom-ahee

middle voice from 3954; TDNT-5:871,794; v

AV-speak boldly 4, preach boldly 1, be bold 1, wax bold 1, boldly 1, freely 1; 9

1) to use freedom in speaking, be free spoken

1a) to speak freely

2) to grow confident, have boldness, show assurance, assume a bold bearing

  • Acts 9:27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly <3955> at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
  • Acts 9:29 And he spake boldly <3955> in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.
  • Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold <3955>, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
  • Acts 14:3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly <3955> in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
  • Acts 18:26 And he began to speak boldly <3955> in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
  • Acts 19:8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly <3955> for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
  • Acts 26:26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely <3955>: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
  • Ephesians 6:20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly <3955>, as I ought to speak. {in bonds: or, in a chain} {therein: or, thereof}
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold <3955> in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

5111 tolmaw tolmao tol-mah’-o

from tolma (boldness, probably itself from the base of 5056 through the idea of extreme conduct); TDNT-8:181,1183; v

AV-durst 7, dare 4, be bold 4, boldly 1; 16

1) not to dread or shun through fear

2) to bear, endure

3) to bring one’s self to

4) to be bold

5) bear one’s self boldly, deal boldly

  • Matthew 22:46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst <5111> any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
  • Mark 12:34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst <5111> ask him any question.
  • Mark 15:43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly <5111> unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
  • Luke 20:40 And after that they durst <5111> not ask him any question at all.
  • John 21:12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst <5111> ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
  • Acts 5:13 And of the rest durst <5111> no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.
  • Acts 7:32 Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst <5111> not behold.
  • Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would <5111> even dare <5111> to die.
  • Romans 15:18 For I will <5111> not dare <5111> to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,
  • 1 Corinthians 6:1 Dare <5111> any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
  • 2 Corinthians 10:2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold <5111> against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. {think: or, reckon}
  • 2 Corinthians 10:12 For we dare <5111> not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. {are…: or, understand it not}
  • 2 Corinthians 11:21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold <5111>, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold <5111> also.
  • Philippians 1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold <5111> to speak the word without fear.
  • Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst <5111> not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

5112 tolmhroteron tolmeroteron tol-may-rot’-er-on

neuter of the compound of a derivative of the base of 5111 (as adverb); TDNT-8:181, *; adj

AV-the more boldly 1; 1

1) more boldly

  • Romans 15:15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly <5112> unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, 

Examples from History

In the year of Christ 286, a most remarkable affair occurred; a legion of soldiers, consisting of six thousand six hundred and sixty-six men, contained none but Christians. This legion was called the Theban Legion, because the men had been raised in Thebias: they were quartered in the east until the emperor Maximian ordered them to march to Gaul, to assist him against the rebels of Burgundy. They passed the Alps into Gaul, under the command of Mauritius, Candidus, and Exupernis, their worthy commanders, and at length joined the emperor. Maximian, about this time, ordered a general sacrifice, at which the whole army was to assist; and like-wise he commanded that they should take the oath of allegiance and swear, at the same time, to assist in the extirpation of Christianity in Gaul.

Alarmed at these orders, each individual of the Theban Legion absolutely refused either to sacrifice or take the oaths prescribed. This so greatly enraged Maximian, that he ordered the legion to be decimated, that is, every tenth man to be selected from the rest, and put to the sword. This bloody order having been put in execution, those who remained alive were still inflexible, when a second decimation took place, and every tenth man of those living was put to death. This second severity made no more impression than the first had done; the soldiers preserved their fortitude and their principles, but by the advice of their officers they drew up a loyal remonstrance to the emperor. This, it might have been presumed, would have softened the emperor, but it had a contrary effect: for, enraged at their perseverance and unanimity, he commanded that the whole legion should he put to death, which was accordingly executed by the other troops, who cut them to pieces with their swords, September 22, 286.


Quirinus, bishop of Siscia, being carried before Matenius, the governor, was ordered to sacrifice to the pagan deities, agreeably to the edicts of various Roman emperors. The governor, perceiving his constancy, sent him to jail, and ordered him to be heavily ironed; flattering himself, that the hardships of a jail, some occasional tortures and the weight of chains, might overcome his resolution. Being decided in his principles, he was sent to Amantius, the principal governor of Pannonia, now Hungary, who loaded him with chains, and carried him through the principal towns of the Danube, exposing him to ridicule wherever he went. Arriving at length at Sabaria and finding that Quirinus would not renounce his faith, he ordered him to be cast into a river, with a stone fastened about his neck. This sentence being put into execution, Quirinus floated about for some time, and, exhorting the people in the most pious terms, concluded his admonitions with this prayer: “It is no new thing, O all-powerful Jesus, for Thee to stop the course of rivers, or to cause a man to walk upon the water, as Thou didst Thy servant Peter; the people have already seen the proof of Thy power in me; grant me now to lay down my life for Thy sake, O my God.” On pronouncing the last words he immediately sank, and died, June 4, AD 308. His body was afterwards taken up, and buried by some pious Christians.

-Fox’s Book of Martyrs