The Apostles of Jesus Christ were eyewitnesses of His teachings and miracles He performed. They thus became uncompromising “ministers of the word.” They were tried, tempted, persecuted, imprisoned, severely tortured, denied their rights, abused and afflicted, subjected to hunger, thirst, shame and disgrace. Yet, they stood firmly and remained uncompromising till death. We must also resolve not to deviate from the command to preach “the word of God with boldness.”
The Apostles were not deterred by threats from enemies of the gospel. Instead, they resolved: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Paul the apostle doggedly proclaimed “all the counsel of God” everywhere, despite his predicaments. He said, “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:17). Preachers of the word of God should not circumvent the truth to please any individual, authority or congregation.
To preach the Word with boldness and conviction, we should endeavour to spend quality time to train, consecrate, sacrifice and develop ourselves to be approved unto God. We should not allow others’ sin to make us fall, but avoid compromise like Daniel, who “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” If we stand firm, preach with conviction and bring sinners to the Lord, God’s work will grow numerically and spiritually. And we will receive our great reward on the final day, if we remain faithful till the end.
Believers grow to maturity through regular intake of His Word. Some Christians, however, are not growing in courage, spiritual stamina and levels of maturity, because they fail to commit themselves to imbibe the Word every day. “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat” (Hebrews 5:12). Such Christians are slow and unproductive. When they ought to be counsellors, leaders, teachers, pastors, evangelists and soul-winners with good grasp on the Word, they remain babes. But the Lord wants us to be strong, firm, courageous and bold.
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Rather than give excuses for remaining stagnant because of our situations, “let us go on unto perfection.” We should grow into maturity to be able to handle the difficulty, confrontation, temptation, insult and pressure that challenge our Christian conduct and obedience to the great commission.
Christ never bent the knee to Stan’s messengers or gave up the commission the Father had given Him because of the Pharisees and Sadducees. We must emulate Him and, “Let the word of Christ dwell in (us) richly in all wisdom.” This will make us grow and come to maturity and perfection. The more we live in the Word and by the Word, the more we become mature, stable, steadfast and grow with a good foundation in Christ, Who is the Word personified. Those who move on to maturity live in Him, through Him, like Him and for Him. They are saved, sanctified, separated from the world, submissive, spiritual, saintly, saturated with the Word, steadfast, single-minded, soul-winning and self-denying.
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Further Reading (King James Version): Acts 6:2-4,7; 12:24, 8:4,14,25; Luke 1:2; Acts 4:29-31; 5:28,29; 20:26,27; 2Corinthians 2:17; 4:1,2; 2Timothy 1:13,14; 2:15; Titus 1:9; Revelation 22:18,19; Daniel 1:8; 12:2,3; Hebrews 5:12-14; 6:1,12; 1 John 2:12-14; Ephesians 4:13,14; Philippians 2:5,15,16; 1:27,28; Colossians 3:16,17.