The Berean Expositor
Volume 42 - Page 102 of 259
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A1 |
1, 2. BOASTING in hope.
| 3-. Not only so.
A2 |
-3-10. BOASTING in tribulation also.
| 11-. Not only so.
A3 |
-11. BOASTING in God.
The interposition of the `glorying in tribulations also' brings us to another aspect of
truth. It must not be assumed from the rigorous denial of all grounds of boasting in self
and the flesh, that Paul was austere or unsympathetic in his dealings with fellow
believers--the opposite is the truth. He finds some grounds for thanksgiving in the
opening salutation of the epistle to the Corinthians, even though the bulk of the epistle
exposes such aberration and folly as to cause the Apostle to weep. After all that he has
said to the contrary he said he would `boast' in himself, but not in his prowess his
wisdom, his success, but in his infirmities!
"He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in
weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of
Christ may rest upon me . . . . . for when I am weak, then I am strong" (II Cor. 12: 9, 10).
He who could glory in tribulations and infirmities as did the Apostle, was no defeatist
or cynic; he was an exultant believer delivered once and for ever from the vanity of
self-justification, and could, from that standpoint, see that even his own acknowledged
frailty but emphasized the power of Christ upon him.  In much the same way, the
same Apostle who resolutely set aside all boasting in self and in men, could punctuate
II Cor. 7:-9: with this boasting in the generosity of the Corinthian church.
"Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled
with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation" (II Cor. 7: 4).
Other references to the same theme are II Cor. 7: 14; 8: 24 and 9: 3, 4. But in
all this the discerning reader will see that there is no boasting in the flesh. To this end,
the concluding verse of II Cor. 9: should be pondered. When he had said all that could
be said about the liberality of the Corinthians and their magnificent response, he gives the
whole passage a significant turn at the end by saying:
"Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift" (II Cor. 9: 15).
Similarly when Paul said that he had whereof he could boast through Jesus Christ, it
was `in those things which pertain to God', which the context reveals to be the grace
given to him as the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles (Rom. 15: 15-20). In like
manner, in the self-same chapter of Galatians where he writes `God forbid that I should
boast' he says "But let every man prove his own work and then shall he have rejoicing
(or a ground of boasting) in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear
his own burden (or allotted task, pack or load)" (Gal. 6: 4, 5).
(2) The Apostle has brought together a series of reasons to show that boasting in
human merit, when the subject is related to sin and salvation, is entirely excluded.