March 1, 2018

Are You Boasting or Believing?

Romans 3:27–31

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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. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Are You Boasting or Believing?

Bio | Emily Allen

Good morning, Journey friends! My name is Emily Allen, and I am privileged to be married to my wonderful husband, Justin. I have the amazing opportunity of serving as the Campus Pastor and Community Assistant at the Fort Worth Campus. I serve in Starting Blocks (what's up, Blue room!), and I love sharing the truth of God's Word with those sweet preschoolers. I love watching baseball, buying books from the children's section at Barnes and Noble, running long distances, and eating Braum's frozen yogurt. I'm excited for you to join me in studying God's Word today!

Central Truth

You could boast all day long about your accomplishments, but that will not make one difference toward your eternity with Christ. It is by faith in God that you have been justified and can boast about Jesus' perfect life, sacrificial death, and miraculous resurrection. 

Devotional | Romans 3:27–31

For the majority of my life, I believed that, if I was "good enough," I would go to heaven when I died. I had peace thinking that if I was able to boast a long enough list of my own accomplishments...

For the majority of my life, I believed that, if I was "good enough," I would go to heaven when I died. I had peace thinking that if I was able to boast a long enough list of my own accomplishments and rules I had followed, I was going to be all right. My daily goal was to impress others by sharing how I had it all together. I was a self-proclaimed good girl. I kept people at an arm's distance and only let them know what I wanted them to know about me. My outward appearance did not match my inner loneliness and desire to be known.

When a friend shared Ephesians 2:8-9 with me, I began to understand that eternity in heaven was not a result of my accomplishments: "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."

God doesn't want you to boast about your own works because no amount of boasting will impact your salvation. Faith understands that nothing we do justifies us. As a gospel believer, you are free to understand and love the law more than someone who is seeking to be saved by following the law. When you put your faith in Christ, your sinfulness is given to Him because He died for it. In return, Christ gives you His perfect obedience to God's law, and you are able to live through it. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, "For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."

It is not because of anything you have done or any rules you have followed. It is only by faith that depends totally on the merciful act of God in the death of Jesus. And the best part is, God loves this world, and He shares His gift of salvation with everyone!

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Discussion Questions

1. Do you find more security in your personal list of accomplishments or in the saving grace of Jesus?

2. What, apart from Christ, might you be tempted to boast in as the grounds of your confidence or self-worth today?

3. How will you ensure you boast only in Christ?


5 Comments available

Michael Scaman 12 months ago

Not a ‘law of works’ that is earned , but the ‘law of faith’ which is a gift Rom 3:27

“… God is the one who justifies…” which makes God the worker Rom 3:30 - as far as the declaration of legal change of status before God, new creation and adoption. We are dependent workers in sanctification leaning on God, cooperating with Him

Romans is adding some new ideas:

a few verses back was the first time in Romans where salvation, Jesus and faith came together a few verses later this salvation is a gift is added ‘so that no one should boast’ Is 52:15

Autumn Zevely 12 months ago

I think we believed the same thing… Only I “gave up” because I didn’t think I was “good enough” for God to love. PRAISE GOD He STILL loved me in my darkest. I am thankful for my CG where I have truly learned to live authentically, shown grace as well as admonished. I cannot boast.

Michael Scaman 12 months ago
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Hugh, I like that Jer 9:24 says what the person knows about God that they known and understand. He is “…the Lord who executes loving kindness and mercy on the earth for in these things i delight…”

He executes loving kindness and mercy on this earth, amidst all the problems seen around us… and his mercies are new every morning as that future grace pours fresh into each day. Lam 3:23-24

Holly Lester 12 months ago

Journey commenters,

Discourse made a change that caused all of the comments submitted today to be lost. Unfortunately, Discourse gave us no warning that it was making this problematic change. The situation has now been remedied, and your comments will appear as usual.

Your comments are precious to The Journey team, and we humbly ask your forgiveness for this loss. We especially regret the lost opportunity to comment on Emily Allen’s excellent devo, and we hope that you will repost your comments.

The Journey Team

Hugh Stephenson 12 months ago

Well said Emily. Its a convicting truth that boasting can be done by pretending to be someone I am not. What are the things that are true about me but that I don’t say or do?

Alternatively, the word boasting leads me right to Jeremiah 9:23-24. Excerpt, “…let him who boasts, boast in this, that he understands and knows me”.

The audacity of salvation by grace through faith is so crazy because I can boast of it if I truly “understand and know Him”. The last 5+ years has shown me so much of the goodness and kindness of God that I want to know Him even more. This is my daily purpose and the greatest source of joy I have ever known.

A friend prays this upon awakening, “Father, I pray that today I may know you even more so that I can love you even more”.

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