Friday, March 30, 2012

I received this email from a good friend:
What does it exactly mean to boast in the Lord? I have a vague idea of what it means however what does it truly mean? And where in the bible does it talk about it?

Here is my answer to him:

To "Boast" in the LORD is found in the following (but not exhaustive) Scriptures:
Psalm 34:2   2 My soul will make its boast in the LORD;

1 Corinthians 1:31  so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."

2 Corinthians 10:17   17 But HE WHO BOASTS IS TO BOAST IN THE LORD.

Galatians 6:14   14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

See also:
Habakkuk 3:18   18 Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.

Romans 5:11   11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

The PRIMARY meaning of "to boast" (or "exult") is the idea of "to brag" or to "speak often of" or to "rejoice in."

What Psalm 34:2 says is that the psalmist will BOAST in the LORD and then later in the verse (in a parallel way) he says he will REJOICE in God (cf. Habakkuk 3:18).

When Paul says that let him who boast boast in the Lord (1 Cor 1:31; 2 Cor 10:17) it means that we are to give all the credit to God for our salvation (see the context especially of 1 Cor 1:18-31). God has done ALL the work in our salvation — so we CANNOT brag/boast or give any credit to ourselves; it ALL must go to God and to Him alone.

Then in Romans 5:11 we are called to EXULT (some translations have rejoice/boast) in God through Christ through whom we now have received reconciliation. Because GOD has done all the work in reconciling US to Himself (see 2 Cor 5), we have NO ONE to boast in but Jesus Christ!

IN CONCLUSION: boasting is rejoicing. Boasting is bragging. Boasting is speaking well of — speaking often of something/someone. When it comes to our lives, our ministry, our salvation, our church, we are called to rejoice, brag about, and speak well (and often of!) Jesus Christ & the work that He has done for us on the cross!

Hope that helps!  May we boast in nothing but Jesus Christ & Him crucified!

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