Magnifying Christ in our lives is sustained in hope because of the faith required. We are convinced that Christ is the one to follow. When we follow him we stay close behind on the road to heaven. When we do, his light reflects off of us onto the world around us (Matthew 5:16).
Second, magnifying Christ in our lives means that we must be constant in boldness. Paul writes, “According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death” (Philippians 1:20).
Thayer defines “boldness” as “free and fearless confidence and cheerful courage.”/1 We would have the type of faith to withstand all the “fiery darts of the wicked one” because we would have absolute confidence in Christ’s Word (Ephesians 6:16; Philippians 4:13). John Wayne said that “courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.”
Part of this boldness is contained within the word “ashamed.” That we are firm in Christ and are not ashamed or embarrassed by his word, doctrine, church, or children (Romans 8:35-39). “He who is in Christ has found freedom towards God and can approach God with confidence. He can stand before the Ruler and Judge free and erect, not lowering his head, able to bear his presence.”/2
This boldness before God, who can “destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28), should bring a “cheerful courage” before men, who can do nothing to us, other than destroy our bodies. This boldness brings us security and confidence as we magnify Christ to the world. That while we are walking with him, we need not be ashamed of anything he does.
Third, magnifying Christ means that we are constant in bringing glory. Once we are filled with hope, pride in his word, and bold with his message, we can focus all of our energy into making Christ look good.
This magnification will require focus and the proper perspective. The latter means that we will make mistakes as we follow God and promote his cause. Yet, we know that God’s grace will be there in our weakness. God knows that we are trying to serve and glorify him, despite our weaknesses.
The proper perspective is required in every aspect of our faith. It allows us to see our failures and weak efforts in the right light. It means we understand God does not require perfection. It brings peace and comfort in the face of temptation and suffering. To know that we are not alone in our challenges as we are a part of the fierce battle between God and Satan (Ephesians 6:10-20).
Magnifying Christ means that we are “deeming or declaring him great.”/3 We are making him larger in the eyes of the world. “Ordinary views of Christ were too small. Christ was big enough to fill the universe, but to most people he was remote and far away. Paul wanted to be a telescope to bring him closer to their consciousness so they could see him in all his glory and grace. Paul wanted to be a microscope to enlarge their vision of Christ -? to make the various facets of his magnificent life manifest so that people could study him in detail.”/4
Christ always magnifies God, so we have no reason to do any less (John 14:10). We live by and for him every day of our lives and he will then be powerful in the world around us (Galatians 2:20).
1/ Joseph Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 491.
2/ Heinrich Schlier, “parrhesia,” in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, edited by Gerhard Friedrich (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1967), 5:883.
3/ Thayer, 394.
4/ John Phillips, Exploring Ephesians and Philippians (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1993), 58.
Do We Show the Lord’s Light to All Men?