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"Boldly Proclaiming Christ"

Date published: 06/24/2012
Acts 9:28 “Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.” (NIV)  
Saul became a Christian in Acts 9:19, began preaching in 9:21, immediately faced a plot to kill him in Damascus in 9:23, in 9:28 he continues preaching boldly, and in 9:29 they try to kill him in Jerusalem.  We do not know the days involved, but you quickly see that any decision to follow Jesus, much less proclaim His name put Saul’s life at risk.  “Boldly” is used 11 times in the Bible, while 6 of those were in Acts.  The writer used “boldly” six times because he could see and feel the deliberate decision to potentially give up something or to put their life at risk by identifying with or proclaiming Jesus.  Today Christians around the world face varying consequences for being a Christian and proclaiming Christ.  The interesting thing about the fear of identifying with Christ is that no matter the circumstances the fears and intimidations you feel reflect what you value over your faith and call to Christ.  Physical harm challenges your core belief that God is real and your eternal security in Christ trumps any harm that could come to you physically.  Relationships, job security, and your desire to elevate yourself in your vocation or any organizations you are involved in will challenge your priorities and devotion to Christ.  Each of these decisions requires a deliberate decision to stand with Christ and proclaim the kingdom of God before the gods of our culture.  Acts 5:40-42 gives a wonderful pattern for deciding to be bold: Take the consequences - “They called the apostles in and had them flogged.”  Rejoice that your life in Christ far exceeds any loss you can experience in this world – “Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.  The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.”  Continue to boldly proclaim Christ in your life and with your words – “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.”   
2 Corinthians 5:15 “He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” (NIV)