The Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) hosted an insight session on July 3, titled “BRF Looks at Courageous and Cowardly Discipleship”–a topic directly connected to the Annual Conference theme “Live as Courageous Disciples.”
Harold S. Martin, the presenter for the event, started with a statement that discipleship begins with a commitment to follow Jesus, to believe the gospel message, and to learn from Jesus, with the chief goal being to serve Him.
His presentation covered two points. The first was a discussion of courage. For this discussion he turned to the book of Acts to learn lessons in courage from the early Christians. The stories of Peter, John, and Paul show individuals who were “determined to always stand up for Jesus.” Martin defined courage as a state of mind that allows a person to face situations without fear. One example of this kind of courage is Peter’s boldness in preaching Christ at a time when such preaching had been banned (Acts 3 and 4). This kind of courage comes from absolute confidence in the power of God.
Martin then raised the concern that we too often sit silently rather than speak about the great spiritual truths, such as Jesus as the only way.
His second point contrasted courage with cowardice. He described cowardice as a lack of courage, which is evidenced when we lack bravery under pressure or because we don’t want to appear different from the crowd. It is a lack of courage that causes us to fear. Martin pointed to the seriousness of cowardice by quoting Revelation 21: 8, a verse that includes cowards along with unbelievers, those who do evil, murderers, and idolaters in a list of those who will be judged. It is dangerous to lack courage to stand up for what is right, biblical truth.
Returning to the Conference theme, Martin quoted Philippians 1:14 where many of the Christians were courageous because of Paul’s witness while he was in prison. They became bold in speaking the word, the gospel, without fear. Martin’s challenge to the church is that we increase in boldness when speaking up for Jesus.
— Karen Garrett provided this report.