Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also. Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them. (Hebrew 13:1-9)
In the middle of this fantastic collection of truth regarding relationships—being kind to others, ministering to those in bondage (physical or mental), our sex lives, and contentment—the Holy Spirit drops in a powerful verse regarding our relationship with Jesus. We are told that because Jesus is with us, we can say boldly that God is our helper, we don’t need to fear, and he can do all things. God wants boldness to be a trait in our lives. If we don’t know Who is with us, courage is hard to come by. I want to point out the author of Hebrews quoted from Psalms when he wrote, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” This is a genuinely astounding promise we have to get a hold of. We never have to be alone. Loneliness, as a child of God, is a lie. Whenever we feel alone, we can grab ahold of verses and speak the truth: the God of the universe is with us. We can pray it out loud. We can speak it out loud. We can sing it. We can talk about it with our friends and family. We need to remind ourselves that we are not alone. We are the boldest when we know our Father is with us.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) There, in His presence, He will guide us to powerful, life-altering truth. The boldness we see in Jesus’s life came from His knowledge that God the Father was with Him all the time. That knowledge instilled in Jesus an identity grounded on the love of the Father. He walked in the righteousness of God and was bold in life. We can live out Proverbs 28:1:
The wicked flee when no one pursues,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.
When we know who we are, who He is, and that He is with us, we can be bold. In today’s day and age, we need boldness like never before. Our culture is doing its best to intimidate the church into silence. They are waging a violent war with their words and images. It is not dissimilar to what the Apostles endured in the book of Acts. Peter and John faced the religious leaders of their day and faced intense pressure to be silent about what they believed.
Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”
So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed. (Acts 4:1-21)
Many of you might be saying, “Yeah, well, the voices of today are not Jewish scribes and Pharisees?” True, those who are trying to silence Christ-followers of today are not religious by the standard definition—they don’t necessarily have a professed god they worship. But they are just as dogmatic in their service and devotion of their beliefs, whether that be humanism, atheism, Gnosticism, or whatever belief system they subscribe to. They don’t want Christians speaking out and stepping up in society. They want us to be quiet. But God has called us to be lions. When lions roar, all the animals in the jungle shake. The righteous have courage born out of the understanding of who they are in God. Every believer reading this is righteous, not because you are a good person, but because Jesus gave us the gift of his righteousness. “For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17)
The gift of righteousness, when it awakens inside of us, allows us to see ourselves in unique and different ways. We will see ourselves as children of God. The new identity gifted to us gives us the boldness we need. The word “boldly” means “to exercise courage, be bold, have confidence, be confident, to be hopeful.” Almost every miracle that happens on this planet will be preceded by someone’s bold faith in Jesus Christ. They will have spent time with Him and His word. They will have the right thoughts about Him, about themselves, and the way the world should be. Then they will speak and act on the word. Our society needs someone willing to say something crazy—be healed, be saved, be delivered—so heaven can do something miraculous.