Tuesday, 19 March 2013
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.Romans 3:27
Continuing on with his humbling line of thought, Paul shows us the greatness of God – both innate greatness and that which He bestows upon us. He asks, “Where is boasting then?” The term he uses (he kauchesis) indicates glorying in something or reveling in something. It is equated with “See what I have done!” Paul wants us to think it through. What will we glory in when we come before the Lord? This Greek term can be used in a negative way – achievements to glory in self, or in a positive way – gratitude for His work and thus glorying in the Lord.
So, where is our boasting? Paul says, “It is excluded.” There can be no merit when something is accomplished by faith in something else or someone else’s work. In fact, to make a personal boast in oneself when they haven’t done anything would be the epitome of stupidity and arrogance. All boasting is excluded and to make sure we comprehend the reason we are given two more questions to ponder – “By what law? Of works?”
The idea of “law” here is one of economy. The Jew was under the economy of the Mosaic law. The gentile was under the economy of natural law. Is the Jew able to boast before God based on fulfilling the deeds of the Law of Moses? No. Paul has shown that the law only brought further condemnation. How can someone boast in salvation from something that condemned them? And the same is true with the natural law of the gentile. Can a philanthropist stand before God and say, “See what I did. You owe me big time.”? No. All are bound under sin – both inherited and those committed in the body against the law.
Boasting isn’t excluded by works. It is excluded by the law of faith. This law, or economy, says that in order to please God we must have faith in what God has done. If God has accomplished all the works, then how can we boast of having done anything at all? It is ludicrous to think that we somehow merit any favor in our salvation.
1) Jesus came from God.
2) Jesus was born without sin.
3) Jesus fulfilled the law that no one else could fulfill.
4) Jesus was crucified for our sins.
5) Jesus was raised for our justification.
6) Jesus will return for us and through Him we will be glorified.
8) To God be the glory.
Let our boasting not be in self but in the Lord. As Paul quotes in 1 Corinthians 1:30, 31 –
“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
Life application: When we came before the Lord, it was as poor beggars who had nothing to offer. And yet He crowns us with eternal splendor and glory – a gift fitting the highest noble or the greatest king. This is grace; this is God’s unmerited favor to those who, by faith, reach out to Him. Make it your goal today to truly boast in the Lord and put aside any thought of having merited His favor.
Heavenly Father, it is hard to fathom the depths of Your grace. The favor You lavish upon us is undeserved. From our very breath and the food we eat to the eternal life You have promised us through Jesus – and everything in between – all of it is from Your open hand and truly none of it is deserved. How can we boast in anything when it all came from You? Help us to remember this and to glory in You alone. Amen.