Scripture Reading: Romans 3:27-31
“Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” (Romans 3:27,28)
Paul has been dealing with the fact that our salvation is fully from God. It is a gift of His grace that is received by faith — “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith” (Romans 3:23-25). Since salvation is accomplished through Christ’s atoning death, all human boasting is excluded — “Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded.”
As I have said on many occasions, religion is a great enemy of the gospel. Religion is about man’s efforts to earn salvation. Religious people are proud of their religion and they are often very self-righteous. They look down their spiritual noses on others who do not meet their standards. They find reasons to boast about their morality and good deeds.
There are also other forms of self-salvation that lead to boasting — intellectualism, power, position, and possessions. Read these words from I Corinthians — “For consider your calling, brothers; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (I Corinthians 1:26-29).
When we grasp the truth of the gospel, we realize that we have nothing to boast about except Jesus our Lord — “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (I Corinthians 1:31). Isaac Watts sums it up in his hymn — “Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the death of Christ, my God. All the vain things that charm me most — I sacrifice them to His blood” (Isaac Watts, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross).
Lord Jesus, I have nothing to boast about except You alone. You are the author and the perfecter of my faith. You accomplished salvation for me. Forgive me when I get proud of my good deeds and religious efforts to earn Your favor. I know that these things lead to self-righteousness. Let me boast only in You, Lord, for I owe everything to You.
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