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Study to Grow

By Doug Bell


Galatians 6:

14 "But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."


*****

The New Testament has a lot to say about boasting:

1 Corinthians 1:28 "God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,

29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,

31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”


2 Corinthians 2:17 “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.


Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast."


Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 ¶ Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith."


And we could cite many others, but this will suffice. But the point Paul is making is that if the Christian has anything to brag about. It isn't in anything that he has done, but ONLY what God has done for us in Christ Jesus!


But is there a time where it is proper to boast? The Apostle says yes, but not the way you would expect.


2 Corinthians 12:1 ¶ "I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.

2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.

3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—

4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.

5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses—

6 though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me.

7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,fn a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.

8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me."


Note that in verse 1 Paul says about his boasting, "I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it..." It is foolish for us to boast of anything but the Lord Jesus Christ's finished work upon the cross. But Look!


9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."


The ONLY thing (other than Christ) that we could boast about? We as Christians should boast, even relish in the fact that we need to be completely 'dependent' upon God! The more dependent, the more Grace God gives to us. The Christian's weaknesses are in reality, the power of God!

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