Summary: Paul draws on the two men most Jews would look to as examples of their faith.
The testimony of two giants Romans 3:27-4:8
There were three children bragging about their fathers: the first one said, “My dad’s so smart he can talk for one hour on any subject.” The second one said, “My dad’s so smart he can talk for two hours on any subject.” Finally, the third one said, “My dad’s so smart he can talk for 3 hours and he doesn’t even need a subject.” Makes you wonder if they were preacher’s kids.
Here's Paul again writing to the Romans and I’ll begin where I left off last day.
27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven; whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”
Some of us who’ve been in church all our lives might feel as though we’re head and shoulders above those who were saved off the streets, but the fact is; we’ve all been saved from a terrible place called hell which we deserved and when we get to heaven we’re going to understand fully when we see Jesus in all of His glory that none of us have anything to brag about.
Listen, the Bible describes us all as sinful and as Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” That means that there is no one, past, present or in the future who ever has been or ever will be someone who has never sinned and come short of God’s expectations. We are either saved by God’s grace or we’re not saved at all.
D.L Moody once said: “It is a good thing that man cannot save himself; for if a man could work his way to Heaven, you would never hear the last of it. Why, when someone gets a little ahead of others, you hear him boast of being a self-made man. I’m so glad that through all eternity we’ll never have to hear anyone bragging about how hard he had to work to get there."
I can't brag about how much I love God because I fail him daily, but I can brag about His love for me because it never fails. There is a Spanish proverb that says: “Tell me what you brag about, and I’ll tell you what you lack.” And another said, “Noise proves nothing. Often the hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.”
When I was a salesman, I had a customer who was always bragging about how much he had won the previous night at the racetrack. One day he told me he probably averaged a few hundred a night and I asked him how he did it. He said, “the secret was; he studied the horses and knew which one was going to win.”
I always felt bad when I had to call on him because I was just a salesman and I knew I’d never gamble because I also knew I’d be sure to lose everything I had. But years later I was thinking about him and I began to wonder, “Why was he still working at a dead-end job in a small company that didn’t seem to have any future?” The answer was simple: he was a typical braggard. And I wondered, if he really considered himself to be so much smarter than me; then why did he try so hard to impress me?
One thing I learned from him is, braggarts always appear as though they’re someone great when in reality they’re simply empty souls who are trying to pump themselves up.