Boldness not Insolence

by Mike Ratliff

7 οὗ ἐγενήθην διάκονος κατὰ τὴν δωρεὰν τῆς χάριτος τοῦ θεοῦ τῆς δοθείσης μοι κατὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ. 8 Ἐμοὶ τῷ ἐλαχιστοτέρῳ πάντων ἁγίων ἐδόθη ἡ χάρις αὕτη, τοῖς ἔθνεσιν εὐαγγελίσασθαι τὸ ἀνεξιχνίαστον πλοῦτος τοῦ Χριστοῦ 9 καὶ φωτίσαι [πάντας] τίς ἡ οἰκονομία τοῦ μυστηρίου τοῦ ἀποκεκρυμμένου ἀπὸ τῶν αἰώνων ἐν τῷ θεῷ τῷ τὰ πάντα κτίσαντι, 10 ἵνα γνωρισθῇ νῦν ταῖς ἀρχαῖς καὶ ταῖς ἐξουσίαις ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις διὰ τῆς ἐκκλησίας ἡ πολυποίκιλος σοφία τοῦ θεοῦ, 11 κατὰ πρόθεσιν τῶν αἰώνων ἣν ἐποίησεν ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν, 12 ἐν ᾧ ἔχομεν τὴν παρρησίαν καὶ προσαγωγὴν ἐν πεποιθήσει διὰ τῆς πίστεως αὐτοῦ. 13 διὸ αἰτοῦμαι μὴ ἐγκακεῖν ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσίν μου ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν, ἥτις ἐστὶν δόξα ὑμῶν. (Ephesians 3:7-13 NA27)

7 Of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God having been given to me according to the working of his power. 8 To me, the least of all the saints, this grace was given to the gentiles to preach the unsearchable wealth of Christ 9 and to enlighten all men as to what is the stewardship of the mystery hidden from the ages in God, the one who created all things 10 that it might be made known now to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenlies through the Church the many faceted wisdom of God 11 according to the plan of the ages, which he made in Christ Jesus our Lord 12 in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through faith in him. 13 Therefore, I ask you not to despair concerning my afflictions for you, which is for your glory. (Ephesians 3:7-13 Possessing the Treasure New Testament V1)

If we are honest, we must all agree that that there is a growing disrespect of God in today’s various teaching on prayer let alone worship. While boldness does mean that those who are truly in Christ need not have any inhibitions as they come before God, they must still never forget that God is God. To treat God as if he is a “buddy,” to bring him down to our level in any way, is truly blasphemous. It is insolence in action to do any other than respect and worship God as he deserves. He is not our “buddy” or “pal,” but our heavenly Father and our God. What does it mean to come before him in boldness while not being insolent?

In the passage I placed at the top of this post, the word “boldness” in v12 translates the noun παρρησίαν (parrēsian) , “boldness, confidence, openness.” Παρρησίαν is the accusative, singular of παρρησία (parrēsia). The structure of this noun tells us that we can come before our Father with total freedom of speech, pour out our hearts, and tell him everything. This is indeed a blessed privilege. We are able to do this because of the finished work of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16; 10:19). Now, because of the blood of Christ, we can come directly to God and speak openly to him at any time.

What would be an example of insolence in prayer? I heard a T.V. preacher one time actually demand that God answer some outlandish prayer about fulfilling some of his so-called prophecies he had made. I always think of him when I study this. Other examples are the “Name it/Claim It” , “Word of Faith” people who little more side-show carnival showmen trying to get people’s money by promising much for their “power in prayer.” I would hate to be them when it comes time for the judgment.

Let us come before God open, candidly, and without fear but also in reverence, respect, and worship.

Soli Deo Gloria!

12 thoughts on “Boldness not Insolence

  1. Mike, this hits the nail on the head! After my years of wandering far from the Lord, the modern, seeker-sensitive church attracted me back(and I do recognize them for that), but God had really gotten my attention (finally) and I soon realized exactly what you say here. God isn’t someone we tell jokes to or about. We don’t have Him over after church to watch the Sunday football games and drink beer. We don’t tell “war stories” with God. I think if we really recognize our incredible need for God and His amazing grace towards us, we can’t do anything but fall on our faces and beg forgiveness. Maybe after a few centuries of Heaven, we may be comfortable enough to do more than that, but first we need to humble ourselves and beg His mercy. Thanks for your writings.

  2. Pingback: Access not Impetuosity « Possessing the Treasure

  3. Mike,
    Yes a complete reverence of who the ekklesia is out-positioned from is extremely important. We owe everything to Him and can expect nothing but his will. I do believe the proper word picture of what ekklesia really means can eliminate a wrong attitude that being part of a man made organization can be equal to total connection to the Vine.

  4. Why should we approach God contemptuously(insolence)? No one in their right mind would ever approach God like that if they only knew the huge infinite price he paid for us is beyond anything we could ever pay for all eternity back to him. For that I’m so grateful and thankful with the obeisance in my heart but at the same time the beauty of boldness all because of Jesus and his righteousness imputed to us. The reason why the unsaved are contemptuous is because their minds are so deep in sin their pride and arrogance blinds them.

    Excellent in that you stated we can approach him boldly and yet we are to approach HIm with fear and awe and respect as well….

  5. Thank you Mike Ratliff for your hard work you express in your writings digging out truths for us to read, enjoy, learn and be built up in the Lord. You’re awesome in the Lord Jesus. Praise His holy name!

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