Unashamedly - The Gospel

 

Unashamedly – Embracing Biblical Defense in a Restrictive World (1 Peter 3:15)

 

Free Speech in a Restrictive World

2 Corinthians 3:12

12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

 

2 Corinthians 3:12 (NASB95)

12 Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech,

 

2’ Corinthians 3:12 (YLT)

12 Having, then, such hope, we use much freedom of speech,

 

This issue of free, bold, plain speech concerning the ministry of God’s message is not based in societal acceptance of free exercise or societal restriction of free exercise.  Paul received confidence or hope because of the glorious message and ministry of righteousness.  This message was more glorious than the ministry which Moses delivered because it brought righteousness.  Paul, girded with inspired confidence, spoke freely, boldly, and plainly because to do otherwise would shame the message and ministry.

 

This quote from The New American Commentary greatly clarifies what Paul is saying.

They also have a greater hope. “Hope” does not refer, as it generally does in our culture, to some wistful daydream or airy optimism that may have little foundation in reality. Paul is not saying, “I hope this is true.” “Hope” denotes for him a supreme confidence grounded in divine realities (see 3:4). The hope is so sure that it transforms how one understands and reacts to everything in the present. In this context Paul’s hope, his confidence, is that he serves in the ministry of the Spirit that makes hearts receptive to God. He serves in the ministry of righteousness that justifies sinners and in the ministry that abides forever.374 Consequently, his ministry is far more glorious than even that of Moses, since he is an instrument that makes the glory of God known to the world. This solid assurance gives him his boldness.

 

If by “very bold” Paul means “audacious,” that “audacity” becomes immediately evident as he moves from comparing the ministry of death and the ministry of the Spirit to comparing himself directly with Moses. Moses ministered with a veil covering the glory reflected in his face; Paul is unveiled, along with all Christians, beholding the glory of the Lord and being transformed from one degree of glory to another (3:18). But the word “bold” (parrēsia) does not mean “brazen” or “presumptuous” here.”

(Garland, D. E. (1999). 2 Corinthians (Vol. 29, pp. 179–180). Broadman & Holman Publishers.)

Our God has given a most glorious message which should impact modern Christians as it did Paul.  We should have great hope, a rock-solid confidence, in the message and the God who gave the message.  We must resolve in our heart, souls, and minds that the glorious message of forgiveness, unparalleled in the world, is worthy to be proclaimed boldly, exercising great freedom of speech. 

The question becomes; will we freely speak with no shame or will the restrictive world shame us into silence?  The practice of free speech defying a restrictive world requires rock- solid confidence lest we become silent.  The practice of free speech is the obedient role of the believer in a restrictive world.

The practice of free speech is required because the consequences of not speaking are too great.  The practice of free speech is required because the ministry of reconciliation is too important.  The practice of free speech is required because the demand for the delivery of the message is too clearly articulated.

The practice of free speech requires a willingness to take risks and act innovatively.  It requires courage to act when fear is present.  It requires a strong, vivid, or clear appearance of determination.  In summary, it requires a willingness to come out plainly in public as one’s true self and purpose.

The practice of free speech cannot abide an intensely unpleasant emotion in response to a real or perceived danger or threat from a restrictive world.  It cannot abide physiological changes that may produce behavioral reactions such as fleeing a real or perceived threat from a restrictive world.  The practice of free speech cannot abide a negative response generated by a stimulus occurring in the present, or in anticipation or expectation of a future threat from a restrictive world.  

In summary, believers must not be ashamed to the point of crisis, exhibiting physical or mental aggression; and possibly, in extreme cases, a paralysis of our will to freely speak.

Shamed by Uncomfortable Confrontation

Shamed by Risky Confrontation

Shamed by Unsafe Confrontation

Shamed by Inadequate Confrontation

 

Gospel Power in a Restrictive World

Romans 1:14–16

14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Embracing Gospel Power because of Debt

Embracing Gospel Power because of Motivation

Embracing Gospel Power because of Results

 

Embracing Fact in a Restrictive World

Historical Fact Acknowledged

Historically, when believers follow the true teachings of Jesus, the results never make the follower ashamed.

  1. I cannot be ashamed for following Jesus whose teachings have inspired

    1. Development of education

    2. Language development

    3. Elevation and protection of women and children

    4. Works of mercy

    5. Health care systems

    6. Peace organizations

    7. Industrious free enterprise

    8. Elevation and sanctity of life

    9. Peaceful, civil cultures

    10. Refinement and motivation of music, poetry, and the arts

    11. Changed and productive lives

    12. Diversity, tolerance, and unity in Christ of cultural differences

    13. More than all other belief systems combined.

  2. I cannot be ashamed for following Jesus whose foundation is higher standards of law and justice

    1. This demand for written law and judges appointed by the people is unparalleled and instrumental in shaping man’s basic laws. (Deut.1:9)

    2. The demand for laws which brought civility and equality at the time of their writing.

      1. Appropriate capital punishment.

      2. Appropriate protection of women

        1. Far above rubies (Prov 31)

        2. Industrious and capable of ownership (Prov 31)

        3. Recourse against losing a child by men struggling.

        4. Equality in the Lord (Gal 3)

        5. Recourse about being given away when a servant.

        6. Protected by her father.

        7. Protection from sexual exploitation (Lev 18)

        8. Recourse in dividing the inheritance (Num 27)

      3. Appropriate treatment of animals

      4. Appropriate treatment of servants

      5. Prohibition of stealing men

      6. Appropriate treatment of children (don’t provoke to anger)

      7. Appropriate civil redress for harm done.

      8. Appropriate refuge instead of imprisonment.

      9. Appropriate awareness of the victim.

      10. Appropriate laws of bearing false witness

      11. Appropriate laws of murder

      12. Appropriate laws of personal property

      13. Appropriate family laws

      14. Appropriate laws against stealing.