“Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.” (Romans 3:27, KJV 1900)
I taught a Sunday School class on humility one time and I thought I would give an object lesson. I began the teaching by bragging about all the great things I had done and how great I was. However, I think I went a bit too far. When I finished my monologue, I asked the class, “What do you think about that?” One of the students said, “I wanted to punch you in the face.” Quite graphic, but he got his point across. We all know people who boast and brag on themselves. It can be a sickening display.
The Jews of Paul’s day, boasted for their perceived superiority over the Gentiles. Paul brings some reasons as to why there is no room for boasting. First, there would be no boasting over the law. Paul previously made the convincing case that by the law no man would be justified. Men throughout the world, believe that they can justify themselves by doing good works. They often glory or boast in this. Yet, Paul stated that no man can boast by works of the law. That this boasting was excluded by the law of faith.
Second, The Jews believed that they had the corner of the market as it related to God. We know that there is only one God, eternally existent in three persons. There are not many gods. Only one. The one true God is God over all, both the Jew and the Gentile alike. Paul stated, “Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:” (Romans 3:29, KJV 1900) No people group has the corner of the market regarding God. Yet, only those of faith can consider themselves justified, joint heirs and members of God’s family.
Third, the law does have a place, not just for the Jew but for all. Jesus perfectly fulfilled the righteous requirements of the law for us, who have miserably failed. through His death on the cross, He paid the complete penalty of sin for us. Now, we have the victory and uphold the law, not by the external constraint of the flesh, but through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, believers seek to do the will of God.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8–10, KJV 1900)