No Bragging Rights
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law. NKJV
I thought about starting this message with an outlandish example of people bragging, but the Cardinals have kinda been more subdued lately.
But have you heard about this preacher down in Miami who claimed to be the re-incarnation of the apostle Paul, then he claimed that he was sent to prepare the way of the return of Jesus. Now since 2004 he claims that he is the man Jesus Christ, God on earth. He says he doesn’t study the Bible and he doesn’t pray, “Who would I pray to?” he says. Now that fella has a real ego problem.
We all like to tell good things about ourselves and our children. One man asked, “What has your son’s education done for your family.” “It has cut down on our bragging about him” was the reply.
But in the spiritual realm boasting is a little more concealed, but it is often there. Paul says that there is no place for boasting. If we were all condemned sinners, and God simply declared us not guilty and has given us the righteousness of Jesus Christ, then what is there to brag about? The Jewish readers to whom Paul was writing we bound to be very proud. They prided themselves in their genealogy, their religion, and the knowing and keeping of the law.
But Christians are often no different. We think that because we at least make a failed attempt at keeping the ten commandments we somehow are better than other who do not.
Lets look at Paul’s good advice for us.
I. No Boasting Where is boasting then? It is excluded.
A. There is no boasting.
1. Boasting in the Bible is always spoken against.
2. God is to receive glory and honor for all that we have and are.
B. Boasting has no place in grace.
1. Grace says you didn’t deserve it.
2. Grace says God doesn’t consider what you did deserve.
3. Grace says though you were totally unworthy you receive it as a gift.
4. You can never boast of a true gift.
II. Why? By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.
A. Does works exclude boasting.
1. Of course not.
2. If it was by works there would be plenty to boast about.
B. But if it is by faith!
1. There is no boasting for faith takes place regardless of ability.
2. It takes place without regard to genealogy.
3. It even takes place regardless of intelligence.
4. It even takes place regardless of age.
5. Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it." Luke 18:17 NKJV
III. Justified by faith alone Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.
A. This became the dividing line in the reformation.
1. If it was faith alone then it excluded works.
2. Baptism not a part of it.
3. Repetitious prayers not a part of it.
4. Paying money or giving money not a part of it.
5. Others prayers for you after you are dead, not a part of it.
6. Penitence not a part of it.
B. Even today faith alone is a dividing line.
1. Some still put baptism before salvation.
2. Others think that church membership is required for heaven.
3. And even though there have been extensive talks between catholic and protestant theologians, still faith alone in Christ alone is a dividing point.
IV. Jehovah is God of all. Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
A. Jew or Gentile salvation is by faith.
B. It has always been by faith, as Paul will show in the next chapter.
V. The law fulfilled. Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.
A. Some might say then there was no need in giving of the law.
1. But the law did display the righteous requirements of God.
2. It also displays God’s perfect will.
3. It also displayed man’s need of mercy rather than justice in order to get to heaven.
B. But the law was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
1. He alone kept the law, in letter and in spirit.
2. It shows Jesus as our righteous substitute.
3. Therefore all glory, honor and praise are due to him.
No there is no place for boasting in the church of God. For all that we are or ever hope to be is given to us by His matchless grace. All praise is due His name.
If you can be proud of what you got, you ain’t got notin and you got it from the wrong place.
But if God, through Jesus Christ has equipped you for heaven, then never doubt, you have all you need for the trip. Your future is secure in Jesus Christ.