Tag Archives: boasting

Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #15 “Eight Blessings of Belief” (A Study of Romans 5:1-5) Blessing #4

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 5 each day this week. Here is something that I noticed in reading this chapter:

Here are the eight blessings that I see in this passage:

1. Justified through faith (v. 1)

2. Peace with God

3. Gained access into this grace (v. 2)

4. Boasting in the hope of the glory of God

5. Glory in our sufferings (vv. 3-4)

6. A hope that does not put us to shame (v. 5)

7. God’s love poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit

8. The Holy Spirit has been given to us

We will think about each of these blessings — one by one — in subsequent posts. Let’s notice this morning the fourth blessing: WE CAN NOW BOAST IN THE HOPE OF THE GLORY OF GOD (v. 2).

I will be the first to admit that I don’t have a clue what that expression means! Boasting in the Lord makes perfect sense. Boasting in our salvation — brought about by His grace — makes perfect sense. What does it mean to “boast in the hope of the glory of God”?

We will see in our next blessing that we are to “glory in our sufferings”! Perhaps this boasting in the hope of the glory of God is one way to describe our settled position in Christ. We have the certain hope that we will share in His glory and live forever in the presence of the beauty and magnificence of the Trinune God.

But right now — I’ve got some boasting to do.  And so do you. Talk about your hope in Christ today — and brag about His grace and mercy in saving you!

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Posted by on January 4, 2021 in Romans 5


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Living Now in Light of the Future (A Series of Messages on 2 Corinthians 12) Part 5

I am looking forward to speaking to the supporters of Camp Elim in Colorado September 23-24. Their “Heritage Retreat” gives me the opportunity to preach on one of my favorite passages, 2 Corinthians 12. I will be sharing four messages with them.

One of the many benefits of doing a daily blog is that I get to “think out” what I’m going to preach on. Let’s look at the 2 Corinthians 12 passage again before I share message #1 with you:

We’ve noticed a number of “heaven tourism” books that have sold millions of copies — and found them, in most cases, a challenge to the authority of Scripture about the reality of heaven!

We don’t need tour books — we need the Book — and an authoritative account from an approved Apostle of Christ!

The first message I want to preach from this text can be entitled as —

I. A Biblical View of Boasting (vv. 1-6)

It must be pointed out that there is godly and there is ungodly boasting. Ungodly boasting is found in passages like: James 4:16 “As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.”; Proverbs 27:1 “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”; and James 3:5 “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” When we boast about our “arrogant schemes” or brag about our plans for tomorrow or use our words in ungodly ways, we are engaged in ungodly boasting.

Godly boasting is spoken of in passages like: Jeremiah 9:24 “but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord. And in 2 Thessalonians 1:4 “Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.” And in Philippians 2:16 “as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.” Also in Philippians 3:3 “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.” Godly boasting focuses on the joy of knowing the Lord and the pleasure we receive when we see other believers living for Him!

In our text, 2 Corinthians 12, Paul is employing a kind of boasting by which he is defending his apostleship. He is quite reluctant to engage in such boasting as evidenced by the fact that he has kept his experience of heaven to himself for 14 years! We also see that he begins to explain his going to heaven in the 3rd person (“I knew a man . . . he . . .”), but later shifts to 1st person (“Even if I should choose to boast . . .”). Paul uses the term “boast” five times in this text.

We may boast about our grandchildren or our children or our spouses, but our greatest boast must be about the Lord Himself and His goodness to us! (to be continued)







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Posted by on August 11, 2019 in 2 Corinthians 12


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Living Now in Light of the Future (A Series of Messages on 2 Corinthians 12) Part 1

Friends: Linda and I are looking forward to being with the supporters of Camp Elim in Colorado September 23-24 for their “Heritage Retreat.” I will be speaking on one of my favorite passages, 2 Corinthians 12:1-10. I will give four messages on that text, so this blog will help me think through some of what I’m learning from that passage. Let’s look at the text first:

Now, I have obviously put in BOLD letters the prominent word in this section which is BOAST or BOASTING. This is a boasting section in which Paul is defending his apostleship.

To do the study of this passage justice, we need to go back and read 2 Corinthians chapters 1-11 to get the overall context of what Paul is saying here in chapter 12.

Will you read those chapters now, my friend?
Here are my notes on 2 Corithians 1-10 —
Survey of 2 Corinthians 1-11 —
Ch. 1- Comfort and despairing of life; thanks for deliverance.
v. 12- Now this is our boast of you and you of us — our conduct among you.
v. 20- God’s promises are “Yes” in Christ.
v. 22- Spirit as seal
Ch. 2-
v. 1- not making another painful visit to you.
v. 7- plea to forgive the one who sinned.
v. 11- Satan’s schemes.
vv. 14-17- Believers as aroma; not peddling the word for profit.
v. 17- We speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.
Ch. 3-
vv. 1ff- self-commendation? You are our “letter.”
v. 6- competent as ministers of the new covenant.
vv. 7ff- greater glory of the new covenant
v.v. 12ff- A veil covering the Jews.
v. 18- glory given by the Spirit.
Ch. 4-
vv. 1ff- The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers.
vv. 7ff- this treasure in jars of clay/carrying around the death of Jesus/death at work in us, but life at work in you.
v. 14- confidence in future resurrection.
v. 16- not losing heart; daily renewal; troubles achieving an eternal glory; fixing our eyes are what is unseen.
Ch. 5-
vv. 1ff- awaiting the new body.
vv. 6ff- home in the body = away from the Lord. Judgment seat of Christ.
v. 11- trying to persuade others.
v. 17- new creation in Christ.
v. 18- ministry of reconciliation
Ch. 6-
vv. 3ff- commendation through hardships
vv. 14- warning against idolatry
Ch. 7-
vv. 5ff- Harassment at Macedonia; sorrow & comfort of the Corinthians.
v. 8- caused sorrow by my letter.
v. 10- godly sorrow >> repentance!
vv. 13ff- Titus’ refreshment
v. 14- boasting about them to Titus.
v. 16- I have complete confidence in you.
Ch. 8-
vv. 1ff- excelling in this grace of giving.
v. 13- desire for equality
v. 21- taking pains to do what is right (re giving).
v. 24- show these brothers the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you.
Ch. 9-
vv. 2ff- boasting about their service to the Lord’s people. Not hollow boasting.
vv. 6ff- God loves a generous giver.
Ch. 10-
v. 3- we live in the world but don’t wage war as the world does.
v. 5- we demolish arguments; take captive very thought.
v. 8- boasting about the authority the Lord gave us.
v. 12- those who commend themselves.
v. 13- we will not boast beyond proper limits, but confine our boasting to the sphere of service God has assigned to us.
v. 17-Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.
v. 18- It is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

Boasting is a common theme in this epistle. Paul boasts of these believers — and he boasts of his rightful conduct among them. He chastises those who would commend themselves and points to his own hardships as his commendation. He boasts about the Corinthians and their generosity to Titus. And he boasts about their service to the Lord’s people (not hollow boasting). He further boasts about the authority the Lord gave him and the other apostles. Our boast is to be in the Lord and to allow the Lord to commend whom He will.

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Posted by on August 3, 2019 in boasting


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Major Themes in the Book of Galatians (Ch. 6 Part 3)

Thank you, my friend, for sticking with me as we have worked our way through this incredible letter of Galatians.  You know I’m getting ready for my teaching time at Word of Life Korea — and these posts are helping me do that.  [I’m aware that some of these posts are scheduled for days after my trip].  We conclude our study of chapter 6 and this epistle this morning.   A third theme I see here in chapter 6 is that of pleasing people (vv. 11-18).
The Apostle is not interested in making people happy or caving in to their demands for believers to be put under the law.

These circumcision-compellers are wanting to impress people — and Paul will have none of it!  He says their motive is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ (v. 12).  And they themselves don’t keep the whole law.

In fact, these false teachers want to boast to others that they have convinced the Galatians to go through circumcision.

Not all boasting is wrong — and Paul says he only wants to boast in the cross of Jesus Christ!  And there’s been a double crucifixion in his life:  the world to him and he to the world (v. 14)!

And, mysteriously, Paul says he bears on his body the marks of Jesus (v. 17).  Did Paul have the stigmata (the signs of crucifixion) on his body?  We don’t know.  And it’s not his primary point.  His primary point is to live his life in the freedom which Christ purchased for him.  That should be the primary point of your life and mine as well!

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Posted by on June 22, 2018 in Galatians


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The Joy of Unit-Reading #38 (the Epistle to the Philippians)

What a privilege to have God’s Word — and to able to read it! Most of the books of the Bible can be profitably “unit-read,” which means to read straight through the book without stopping.

We are so addicted to chapter and verse divisions, aren’t we? There might be some versions of the Bible out there without chapter and verse divisions, but I don’t know of any.

Today’s book is Philippians. Here are Screenshot 2016-02-24 07.57.48my notes:

There are many takeaways from this wonderful letter, but let me give you only one:

My takeaway:  I want to boast in the Lord and in the Lord’s people without reservation and without hesitation!

Screenshot 2016-02-24 08.02.47

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Posted by on April 11, 2016 in unit-reading


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