Boasting is Excluded—Romans 3:27
"Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith" (Romans 3:27)
When I was young and waited tables, I worked with a man who figuratively sent out a press release every time he did something. For instance, if he cleaned the coffee pot or delivered your meal, he’d let everyone know about it. He was constantly looking for a pat on the back for doing his job and was exhausting to work with!
There is risk involved in this mindset because we could go through life relying on our good deeds to gain God’s favor.
How many of us are like this? How many of us not only demand recognition but feel as if the world owes us for our benevolence. This is because we assign ourselves value based on the things we do. But there is risk involved in this mindset because we could go through life relying on our good deeds to gain God’s favor.
But Paul’s point is that boasting is excluded because of faith.
Why? Because faith pleases God (Heb. 11:6), not anything else we do. And more than that, faith in Jesus is what pleases God! Jesus said, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:29). The only work God requires us to do is to believe in Jesus.
Paul reminds us that all of our good deeds for the sake of being good amount to nothing, and therefore nothing worth boasting about. Paul made this marvelous declaration in the previous verses that the righteousness we need has been provided for us in the person of Jesus Christ. So if we must boast, then boast about the Lord (1 Cor. 1:31).
Today, be thankful that God does not respond to what we do and how we continually fall short. Be thankful that we respond to what God did through Jesus. We don’t need pats on the back from our coworkers when our values come from Jesus.
Original article published June 25, 2009.