OceanSide church of Christ
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CHURCH GROWTH through RESOLUTION
Victor M. Eskew
A. Proverbs 28:1
The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
B. My friends, a spiritual battle is raging within our world.
1. Good versus evil
2. Right versus wrong
3. Light versus darkness
4. Righteousness versus sin
5. The kingdom of God versus the world
6. The Spirit versus the flesh
7. God versus Satan
C. For us to make an impact on the world, we must have the quality of resolution.
1. To be resolute is to be bold.
2. To be resolute means that we will stand and not waver.
3. To be resolute means we will always be at our post even when the enemy approaches.
4. As the wise writer said: …the righteous are bold as a lion.
I. FEAR CAN BE A REAL PART OF EVANGELISM
A. We fear being thought of as some type of fanatic (Acts 26:24).
And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself, much learning doth make thee mad.
B. We fear confrontation that can stir up angry feelings in others toward us (Luke 21:17).
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.
C. We fear rejection by others (Amos 7:12).
Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Jacob, and there eat bread, and prophesy there.
D. We fear persecution (Acts 13:50).
But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
E. We fear death (Ps. 18:4).
The sorrows of death compass me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.
II. WE MUST BE BOLD
A. Boldness is simply defined as courage. It is difficult to have boldness when fear fills our mind, but it can be done (I Cor. 2:1-5; see also II Tim. 1:7-8).
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
1. Paul said that he was in Corinth with fear and trembling.
2. This fear did not stop him. He pushed forward with determination declaring unto the Corinthians the testimony of God.
B. What are some of the actions of boldness?
1. Boldness comes through prayer to God (Eph. 6:18-20).
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds; that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
2. Boldness speaks the truth of God’s Word.
a. Peter and John were asked: By what power, or by what name have ye done this? (Acts 4:7).
b. Their answer was straight forward (Acts 4:10).
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand before you whole.
c. Their speech was considered bold by their adversaries (Acts 4:13).
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge, that they had been with Jesus.
3. Boldness stands against one’s opponents (I Kings 18:17-19).
And it came to pass when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel, but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim. Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the pro-phets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the grove four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.
4. Boldness refrains from sin.
a. The command was given in Babylon to worship the image that Nebuchad-nezzar set up (Dan. 3:4-6).
b. The Hebrew youths refused to violate the Law of Moses (Dan. 3:18).
But if so, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
5. Boldness acts in opposition to ungodly restraints.
a. Those in Babylon were forbidden to offer petitions to anyone, except through the king (Dan. 6:7).
b. Daniel’ response (Dan. 6:10)
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house, his windows being opened in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled down upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
6. Boldness does God’s will in spite of dangerous consequences (Esth. 4:15-16).
Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, Go, gather together all the Jews that
are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day
I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not accord-
ing to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
7. Boldness trusts in the promises of God.
a. We noted that we often fear persecution. Jesus promises a blessing to those who are persecuted (Matt 5:10).
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
b. We also stated that we fear death, but God promises to be with us in that valley (Ps. 23:4).
Yea, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
III. DEVELOPING COURAGE
A. Know and respect your commander.
1. A marine said of his commander: “I served in Iraq with Corporal Diaz and I’d follow him anywhere.”
2. We have to honor and respect Jesus that much as the “Captain of our salvation” (Heb. 2:10). When we do, we will follow Him anywhere.
B. Believe in the rightness of the cause.
1. We have heard much about suicide bombers in recent years. The question is asked: “Why do they do this?” The answer is: “They believe in their cause.”
2. If we believe we are right, then we will promote our cause with courage.
C. Receive adequate training
1. “5-1. Every soldier, NCO, warrant officer, and officer has one primary mission – to be trained to fight and win our Nation’s wars. Success in battle does not happen by accident; it is a direct result of tough, realistic, and challenging training” (www.globalsecurity.org/military, “Training,” Chapter 5).
2. The Christian also needs to be trained. This enhances his courage because he knows what he is doing.
D. Have a powerful weapon.
1. Soldiers do not take B-B guns onto the battlefield. They take high-powered weapons that can protect them against the enemy.
2. We have a weapon of warfare, the Word of God (Eph. 6:17), that is extremely powerful (Heb. 4:12).
E. Have others pray for our boldness.
1. Paul had others pray for his boldness (Eph. 6:19-20).
2. We can use the effectual, fervent prayers of others (James 5:16).
A. Courage does not seem to be the trait of the many, but of the few.
1. Most do not want to shake things up.
2. Most do not want to rock the boat.
3. Most want to maintain the status quo.
4. Most want to be liked and accepted by others.
B. Are you ashamed and afraid?
1. II Timothy 1:8
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of the Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.
2. Matthew 10:28
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.
C. My friend, if you choose to be part of the many, you need to seriously give heed to Jesus’ words (Matt. 7:13-14).
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.