The Humility and Boldness of Paul

Detail - Glory of the New Born Christ in prese...

Detail – Glory of the New Born Christ in presence of God Father and the Holy Spirit (Annakirche, Vienna) Adam and Eva are represented bellow Jesus-Christ Ceiling painting made by Daniel Gran (1694-1757). Post-processing: perspective and fade correction. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Now, brothers, I want you to know that what has happened to me has helped in advancing the Good News.  It has become clear to the whole palace and to everyone else that it is because of the Messiah that I am in chains.  Also, my being in prison  has given most of the brothers in the Lord confidence, so that they have become much more bold in speaking the word of God fearlessly.  True, some are proclaiming the Messiah out of jealousy and rivalry, but others are doing it in good will.  The latter act from love, aware that I am  put where I am for defending the Good news; while the former announce the Messiah out of selfish ambition, with impure motives, supposing they can stir up trouble for me in  prison.  But so what?  All that matters is that in every way, whether honestly or in pretense, the Messiah is being proclaimed; and in that I rejoice.”  Philippians 1:12-18/The Letter from Yeshua’s Emissary Sha’ul (Paul) to the Messianic Community in Philippi.

We know that Paul was bold in his approach regarding the good news.  But first, let’s define bold:


a: fearless before danger : intrepid b:showing or requiring a fearless daring spirit


: impudent, presumptuous


obsolete: assured, confident


: sheer, steep <boldcliffs>


: adventurous, free <a boldthinker>


:standing out prominently

How do we define ourselves in boldness?  Are we lukewarm?  Are we ashamed?  Afraid?  Not wanting confrontation?  Or are we fearless before danger, daring, assured, confident, steep, adventurous, and free?

At the same time Paul was bold, he was humble.  He was happy to suffer if the Messiah, Jesus Christ, was being proclaimed; in fact, he rejoiced in his suffering.

Do we complain because we should give up a particular activity or television program?  Do we grumble and become irritated because we have to change aspects of our lives to conform to a life with Christ?  Do we become filled with anxiety and worry at the mere thought of ministering to someone who either doesn’t know Christ Jesus, or is living outside of His will?  Is there some area in our lives we need to cut off because it is not pleasing the Lord, yet we hold onto it regardless?  Think about this, and then compare it to the words of Paul.

He was in prison…probably a very dark place with rats, mice, spiders, and other rodents.  Surrounded by nothing but stone walls, fed gruel (a thin porridge made up of nasty slop, probably rotten leftover food all mushed together), and instead of a soft bed to sleep in, he either slept on the stone floor with the spiders, mice, and rats, or slept on a stone slab.  He had no television, no computer, no video game system, no iPad, no iPod, no golf clubs or tennis racquets—nothing.  Yet this guy was rejoicing and happy to suffer for the benefit of Jesus Christ.  This is incredible!  Now doesn’t this make our sufferings seem so small?

He was warned, he was threatened, and it wasn’t the first time he’d been arrested, yet still, Paul continued BOLDLY proclaiming the truth.  It reminds me of all of the preachers right now who are too afraid to say what they really believe for fear of getting into trouble.  I can’t tell you  how many countless ministers I’ve witnessed in videos actually side-stepping questions, or denying the truth to save their own skin.  I can understand, it would be hard for me too.  But what on earth is God going to say when they stand before Him?  His word says He will be ashamed of us if we are ashamed of Him.

“Then to everyone he said, ‘If anyone wants to come after me, let him say ‘No’ to himself, take up his execution-stake daily and keep following me.  For whoever tries to save his own life will destroy it, but whoever destroys his life on my account will save it.   What will it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but destroys or forfeits his own life?  For if someone is ashamed of me and of what I say, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and that of the Father and of the holy angels.’”  Luke 9:23-26

Categories: Christian History, Christian Living, Evangelizing the Lost, Spiritual Warfare

7 replies

  1. Excellent and insightful post, Lyn. How sad we are that we consider ourselves poor if we only have one computer, one car, one t.v. We worry about paying bills, when others worry where their next bite of food is going to come from. I don’t believe anyone in America really has a proper understanding or perspective on leadership Paul was never concerned about what he received, but what he gave and what his giving led to.

  2. You accomplished a great task here in describing two very important elements that we as leaders must face daily in our walk with God. In this lesson Paul showed us how to accomplish it. Thanks for your wisdom and knowledge in pointing the way for all who would ascend to a leadership position in any calling. Peace and blessings be yours to enjoy.

    • I understand many ministers must have it hard these days with all of the legalities and political correctness. However, Jesus wasn’t politically correct, nor was Paul, nor any of the other great leaders we see in the Bible. We were told in advance we would suffer..and so we must. I happened to see a few video clips (as I mentioned above) of some of our well-known ministers being politically correct on the camera, and denying some of the very truths they preach. I am assuming they were afraid to speak the truth for fear of condemnation or legality. It made me sick, and it made me sad. For some of them were ministers I had always respected and looked up to. When I was a little girl, my grandma used to think that the verse in Revelation, “The stars shall fall from heaven…” was referring to “stars” meaning well-known, highly upheld Ministers falling from grace and turning to more ungodly practices, as well as denying Christ out of fear, or for reasons of being popular in the eyes of the world. I don’t think that’s what that verse means, but God bless my grandma, in a sense, she was right.

  3. The combination of boldness with humility is very hard to come by, that is for sure. Paul was a wonderful example for us all to follow. Great insight into the life of Paul. Thank you

    • Thank you Mr. Barkman, and you’re welcome. I know oftentimes the beginnings of the letters to the churches get swept over by our eyes (the intro) and as I flipped open my Bible, my eyes took notice of this part..and I thought, “Wow..what an awesome example of how we should be as God’s children; bold and humble all in one. What a contrast.

  4. AMEN!

    I love Paul and his boldness in preaching/teaching the Gospel. He was sold out for Jesus and there was no turning back, regardless of the persecution! He was persuaded, He had a made up mind that God was for him and if God was for him, nothing could be against him.


    Thanks for sharing! This is good encouragement.

    God bless!

"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 God's call to the world! Are you ready?

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