There’s a biblical view on bad – and good! – boasting.
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There is a kind of boasting that is bad.
It’s arrogant. It’s a plague on society. It reeks of selfishness, and frankly, is the aroma of hell. To say it’s bad is to radically undermine just how bad it can be. Don’t boast if by “boasting” you mean going around telling everyone how great you are.
But the strange thing is that there is also a kind of boasting that is good.
Yep, really and truly. Good. Honorable. Righteous. Beautiful. Glorious. And it is used by God for him to get the glory, and for the gospel to advance.
Take just one text, Romans 5, verse 2. It goes like this in most English translations (this is the NIV):
“Through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”
Now, that word translated (in most, but not all) English translations “rejoice” is the same word translated in chapter 3 verse 27 of the same book of Romans as “boast.”
There, in chapter 3, Paul says that because of the gospel, boasting is excluded.
But NOW, just two chapters later in his argument in Romans, Paul says there is something about which we do boast! More literally it would read like this:
“And we BOAST in the hope of the glory of God.”
Who does the boasting? We do. Who is the “we” in this sentence? Those who have grasped, understood, and personally put their trust in the gospel that Paul has been explaining in the first four chapters of the book of Romans.
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