What does it mean in Rom 3:27 that boasting is excluded because of the law that requires faith?


Romans 3:27

ESV - 27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.

Clarify Share Report Asked September 20 2016 Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter

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Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
Boasting is excluded because of the law that requires faith, not works, because to place our faith in Christ is humbling, whereas to claim any work earning us our Salvation would be boasting.

To say, "I placed my faith in Christ" or "I accepted Christ as my Saviour" isn't something we can boast in, for by doing so we admit several things that are contrary to the nature of pride:

1) We acknowledge that we are sinners.

"This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. But for this very reason I was shown mercy, so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His perfect patience, as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life." I Tim 1:15-16

By acknowledging our sin, we place the glory on Christ for His mercy in saving those who believe, not in anything we did.

The proud will either not admit their sin (I John 1:8) or they will love their sin and hide from anything that might convict them regarding it (Jn 3:19-20) 

2) We acknowledge that we are under condemnation for our sin and need rescue.

By placing our faith in Christ, we are humbly admitting that the just penalty of our sin is death (Rom 6:23, Jn 3:18) and hence we need saving. The proud will often deny they need saving at all.

3) We aknowledge that it is Christ alone who can save. 

The proud will not admit that Christ is the only one who can save them and deliver them from death to life. If they believe they need saving at all, they look to themselves for saving (karma, good works, enlightenment, etc.)

4) We aknowledge that Christ saves us out of His mercy as a free gift to those who believe.

By aknowledging that salvation is a free gift offered by Christ, we humbly admit that it is not something 'owed' to us for oue owin merit, nor did Christ 'have' to die on our behalf to bring salvation. (Rom 6:23, Rom 5:16, Rev 22:17, Tit 3:5)

During Paul's ministry, the fact the gospel was open and preached to Gentiles as well was a huge stumbling block for the Jews, who thought the Messiah was to come in power to overthrow Rome, not die to let Gentiles be reconciled to God. (I Cor 1:23-24) The fact that salvation was free, to all sinners, was also a stumbling block to the proud pharisees. 

5) We aknowledge that Christ has all authority and is Shepherd of our lives.

By placing our faith in Christ we submit to Him, dying to sin and self (I Pet 2:24-25, Eph 4:22, Col 3:9). We then, in humility, submit to Christ (Eph 5:24). Our whole lives become humble service to our King (Rom 12:1, Col 3:23-25, Heb 9:14)

6) Faith leads us to continual humility in regards to our fellow man

Just as faith leads to a lifelong submission to Christ, so faith also leads us to submit to one another (Eph 5:21) and continually keep a proper perspective in our dealings with others in the church (II Cor 10:7-18, Gal 5:13)

""Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord. For it is l not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends." II Cor 10:17-18

"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you." Rom 12:3


So then, faith is in every way contrasted with boasting, for it is based in humility, in a proper regard for one's position in regard to Christ. If a man proclaims, "I have placed my faith in Christ!" this is not a boast, but humility, for he is testifying that, "I was a sinner under condemnation for my wicked deeds, one in need of salvation, a salvation that only Jesus the Messiah could provide. I believe the Messiah is who He claims, with all authority given to Him. I have repented and given my life to Him, have died to myself and risen with him, and God for the sake of Christ's righteousness and His glory shall grant me eternal life."

October 06 2016 10 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Prior to the verse cited in the question, Paul had been making the point that, although the requirements of the law that God gave to Israel were good and just, they were ineffective as a means of providing salvation or eternal life, since no one was capable of perfect obedience to the law through their works.

If it had been possible for people to perfectly satisfy God's requirement for holiness through their own efforts or actions, they would then be entitled to boast of this accomplishment, and consider themselves superior to others because of it.

However, because no one was capable of perfect obedience to the law of works, God in mercy made salvation and eternal life possible through Christ's incarnation, sinless life, atoning death, and resurrection. The law of works has thus now been replaced by the law of faith, which grants salvation not on the basis of our actions but as a result of faith in Christ's finished work of redemption to make us acceptable in God's sight.

As a result (as Paul said), no one now has a right to boast of their own works as the means by which they have been saved, since salvation is gained entirely by faith in God's actions (not our own), which puts everyone on an equal footing.

The "law of faith" is thus not a written code (as the law of works was), but the means by which God (through Christ) now grants eternal life, which opens the possibility of salvation to all (Gentiles as well as Jews).

April 18 2016 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini James Kraft 74 year old retired pipeline worker
We always have to go back to the gospel which is all by grace and not works. All of those that have trusted in Jesus as the only way of salvation, are given eternal life and can never be lost. Galatians 1:8-9 We are not to preach another gospel which is no gospel.

When we trusted Christ as our savior we were given Christ's righteousness, Romans 4:5 and all of our sins were paid for. Jesus paid the penalty for all sin so we could be saved by grace, without works. What we do or do not do.

If all of our sins were not paid for or no one could be saved because we are all sinners because we are not perfect. No one is. First John 1:8. 

But god who is rich in mercy loved us so much, that He went to the cross to pay the penalty for all our sin. Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds. We have eternal life as a free gift. No one can say I saved myself.

So we are saved by grace, through faith, without works, so no one can boast. We did nothing for it except to believe it. No one can be saved by keeping the law or the commandments of God, and that is why Jesus had to come. If there were another way to be saved then Jesus died in vain.

Since we are not under the law, and can not earn salvation, we are saved by the finished work of Christ plus nothing. Ephesians 2:8-9. Eternal life is a gift from God.

March 30 2017 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Grant Abbott Child of Father, Follower of Son, Student of Spirit
There are some things we can boast about.

1) we can boast about the amazing work that Jesus Christ has done to transform our lives (Acts 26:1-32)
2) we can boast about our weaknesses so that Christ’s strength will remain in us (2 Corinthians 12:1-10)
3) we can boast about the faith of others whom we have helped in their spiritual journey because their faith has inspired us and filled us with joy (2 Corinthians 9:1-5)

There are other things, besides our salvation that we can’t boast about.

a) we can’t boast about our careers because God gave us the natural abilities when he created us (Matt 25:14-30)
b) we can’t boast about our wealth because God owns all the silver and gold (ie money & wealth) in this world, and has entrusted it to us for his purposes (Haggai 2:8)
c) we can’t boast about our plans for the future because we don’t even know what tomorrow will bring (James 4:13-17)
d) we can’t boast about human leaders, including pastors, because we follow Christ alone (1 Corinthians 3:17-23)

August 31 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini A F
How often do we give credence to someone just because of their presentation. The way they speak, the way they dress, the way they handled themselves, the way they argue, every aspect of their being seems to be perfect and incorrupt. 

When we find out things like, many people were murdered while going to court to testify or witness against a person that we’ve been giving credence to; or we find out that somebody we’ve given a lot of credence to has given weapons of mass distruction to the enemy; or we find out that someone we’ve given credence to is running a human trafficking ring and in particular sexually abusing children; then people were given credence because they looked a certain part. And although they boast about themselves and their great morality and good deeds, it does not mean that it exists. Because in effect they are greatly lacking Faith. They don’t believe in Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact they would like to destroy all Christians just to shut out the light. So it doesn’t matter how good you are or how much you do for others if you do not have faith all of that perceived goodness is worthless. Because, in reality, that porcelain veneer may be covering up something very devious something very dark and sinful. And even if it’s not, our good works come from the father, not us.

November 17 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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