Journey Through The Bible
Old Testament Reading: Jeremiah 25-27
New Testament Reading: Romans 3
Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By one of works? No, on the contrary, by a law of faith. For we conclude that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith (Romans 3:27-30).
Can you imagine how obnoxious heaven would be if we were saved by our works? One person would say, “I’m here because I taught Bible Studies every week for 40 years.” Then another person would say, “I’m here because I pastored a church for 45 years.” And a third person would chime in saying, “Well, I did more than that. For 50 years, I was a missionary in a foreign country away from family and friends.” And on and on it would go. How Obnoxious!
The Apostle Paul exclaimed that boasting is excluded! Why? Because of faith in Jesus Christ. In heaven, you might ask someone how they got here, and their reply will be, “Because of faith in Jesus Christ.” And another person would say, “I’m here by faith in Jesus Christ.” There is no reason for boasting because we are all saved the same way, by the grace of God, through our faith in Jesus Christ.
A swimmer, when he is saved from drowning, does not brag because he trusted the lifeguard. What else could he do? When a believing sinner is justified by faith, he cannot take pride in his faith, but he can boast in a wonderful Savior.
That is why Jesus spoke of the faith of a mustard seed (Matt 17:20). If our salvation depended on our faith, He would have spoken of faith the size of watermelons! It’s not our faith that matters, it is who we put our faith in. You can have all the faith in the world and be as sincere as ever in your faith, but if your faith is in the wrong person, you are sincerely wrong and just as lost as an unbeliever.
The only good reason a person can have feelings of pride is for a human accomplishment. Paul makes it clear the accomplishment of redemption is all God’s. The only part we play in the process is our faith. Faith is vital to the process, and faith is a matter of personal choice. But faith is no grounds for boasting, since it is simply a response to God’s initiative. It is not based on our accomplishments, abilities, or heritage (it is for Jews and Gentiles alike).