With All Confidence

by Scarlett Stough

For the Scripture References and related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible Study Guide: Hold Fast the Confidence.

In the New Testament (KJV) the English word "confidence" is used to translate a Greek word* which expresses boldness or confidence in both speech and demeanor especially openly and in public. This word also implies "assurance." The book of Acts closes with the statement:

And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him. Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
Acts 28:30-31 KJV

This same word is used to describe the assurance we hold:

But Christ as a son over his own house, whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
Hebrews 3:6 KJV

The only way we can be openly confident in our faith in Jesus and the hope we have is by being completely convinced of the existence of God and of The Holy Scriptures as being God's revelation through the people he chose to write it down.

Once we are completely convinced, have returned to God in genuine repentance by forsaking our way for his, have been baptized according the Scriptures and receive the promised Holy Spirit, our mandate is to live what we believe and speak up about what we believe.

Jesus did warn his followers we should not waste this good news on those who refuse to hear it (Matthew 7:6; Luke 10:8-12). His disciples were to proclaim his good news to those who are willing to listen. No one will ever be strong armed or argued into believing anything. When the minds and hearts are closed and hostile, it's time to move on and look for those who are able to recognize good news when they hear it.

Paul admonished Timothy:

Preach the word; be diligent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine but, after their own lusts, shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
2 Timothy 4:2-4 KJV

Not all are tasked with the mission to preach to crowds, but every Christian is expected to be prepared to answer questions about our hope.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear, having a good conscience, that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good [manner of life]** in Christ.
1 Peter 3:15-16
KJV New Scofield Reference Edition
Copyright 1967 by Oxford University Press, Inc.

People can view Christians as foolish or gullible or even offensive in our beliefs, but we should not give them reason to call us hypocritical. When we sin or offend, we can go to God for forgiveness and his power to remove sins from our lives. To those we have offended, sometimes we can make amends and even reconcile, but often our actions or words have done an injury only God can heal.

The apostle Paul said he was chief among sinners (1 Timothy 1:15-16), yet he was given grace to preach the good news of God's grace to others with confidence. Every Christian can do as Paul did: repent and begin to be confident in word and action because of God's grace and mercy.

*The New Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, copyright 2001: 3954 parrhesia: all out-spokenness, i.e. frankness, bluntness, publicity; by implication assurance.

**[manner of life] is Scofield’s substitute for "conversation."

Volume 18 Issue 02 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation

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