Democracy was born in ancient Greece. When the citizens of a Greek city gathered in their public assembly (ekklesia) they had the right of free speech. They felt free to speak their minds with complete boldness. Their word for this “freedom to say all” was parrhesia (par ray SEE ah) and this is the important word which is translated “boldness” in the New Testament.
The early church proclaimed God's word with boldness. Peter and John were “uneducated and untrained,” but they stood before the Sanhedrin and preached the gospel in such a way that the Jewish leaders could not fail to observe their boldness (Acts 4:13). Unshaken by the experience, Peter and John returned to the brethren and they all asked God to grant them to speak His word with boldness (Acts 4:29).
The early church also prayed with boldness. They had confidence of access into God's presence (Eph 3:12) because Jesus had opened the way. They drew near with boldness to the throne of grace, with a blessed assurance of receiving mercy and finding grace (Rev 4:16). John put it this way: “This is the boldness which we have before him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14)
The early church clung to their boldness even in the face of persecution because they had hope of heaven (Heb 3:6) They knew they were citizens of a greater kingdom (Phil 3:20) where they would one day join their King. They looked forward to that final day with boldness, knowing they would have no reason to shrink away in fear from the presence of their King (1 John 2:28).
The exhortation for the early church—and for the church today—was this: “Do not throw away your boldness! (Heb 10:35).