Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.
Thoughts for Today:My daughter Amanda has just begun third grade. In her classroom is a chart with each student's name listed. Whenever a student performs a task appropriately, the teacher moves his/her name up the chart (for example: turning in work on time). Conversely the student's name is moved down the chart if undesired behavior is demonstrated (talking during class, etc). Amanda really likes the chart because it is a clear visual of her performance. The rules, rewards, and punishment are clearly displayed for all to see.
Sometimes I think it would be easier if God gave us a similar scorecard written across the sky for all to see. Up in the sky would go our latest successes and failures. For example: "Mike opened the door for one elderly lady (score one for him). But then he gossiped, lied and broke two traffic laws. His marker is going down by three again today!" Unfortunately, we know how this measuring would ultimately end -- we would fall so far below the line of acceptability all would perish. In other words, none of us by our good works alone could ever do enough to offset our sin.
Paul's question in our passage today is simply this: "If by God's measurement we all fail, then why boast when on the few occasions we actually follow the law?" Fortunately, God does not have the human race on the merit system, but rather on the belief system -- faith -- for what He has done for us. Therefore, what right do we have to boast?
Questions to Ponder:Do you boast about your good works? Do you think that somehow doing good makes you better than other people -- perhaps more qualified for entry into the Kingdom of Heaven? Think again. Sin is the great negative equalizer and is why we all need a savior (Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God").