BOASTING

One result of pride and self-sufficiency is that people boast of their achievements instead of giving honour to God (Deut 8:11-14; Jer 9:23; Dan 4:30; 1 Cor 4:7; James 4:13-16). Such boasting is hateful to God and will bring from him a humiliating judgment (Isa 10:15-16; 37:23-29; Luke 18:10-14; cf. Matt 6:1-4; John 12:43). Confidence in self is one of the things that prevent people from coming to God and receiving God’s salvation. People cannot earn salvation as a reward for any good deeds they might do. They can only receive it as a gift that God gives freely to those who trust in his grace. They therefore have nothing of themselves that they can boast about (Rom 3:27-28; 4:1-5; 9:30-32; Eph 2:8-9). If they boast at all, they boast in what God has done, not in what they have done (Jer 9:24; 1 Cor 1:31; Gal 6:14; see also PRIDE). The Bible records one occasion on which the apostle Paul boasted, even though he knew it was not the sort of thing a Christian should do. But his purpose was to answer certain people in Corinth who opposed him. These people too easily believed the boasting of men who set themselves up as super apostles (2 Cor 10:8,13; 11:1-5,16-21; 12:1-11). By contrast, most of the things that Paul boasted of were things that the normally boastful person would be ashamed to speak about, namely, his personal humiliations (2 Cor 11:23-30).

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