Ephesians 6:13-14

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, TO STAND. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about WITH TRUTH, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.

* * * * *

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

THE SIN OF BOASTING

There is one sin in the Bible that you will probably not hear much about. That is the sin of BOASTING. The reason you'll not hear a Preacher cry against it, is because so many ministers today are guilty of this henious transgression.

Modern Fundamentalism is full of ministers who brag upon themselves and others within their ranks, each one esteeming the other and exalting them within their group. They have made man more worthy of praise than God, as they continually boast of their ministries just like Jehu in the Old Testament, encouraging others to "come and see their zeal for the Lord." But is it right to brag upon ourselves? What does the Bible say about it?

The sin of bragging is dealt with in the scriptures time and again. In the Bible, the word "brag" does not appear. Instead, the scriptures use the words "boast" and "boasting." And, for a person to boast of himself is something God frowns upon. Just look at the two following passages of scripture in which God speaks about sins and sinners. Notice how "boasters" are listed along with the wickedest of men.

2 Tim. 3:1-5

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, BOASTERS, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Rom. 1: 28-32

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, BOASTERS, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Notice in the first passage it speaks about the last days, in which I believe we now live. They are perilous times, in which men love themselves more than others. This "love of man" or "humanism" is the root reason we see so much bragging today.

In the second passage, we find a list of ungodly sins, and we find the word "proud" comes just before the word "boaster." I'm sure you would agree that a man who boasts about himself is a conceited person who is full of pride. Futher, he is someone who thinks more of himself than others. This is a sin, and something that God hates. In fact, in Philippians 1:3, we are commanded not to be haughty and highminded, rather: ...in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."

Even though the Bible clearly proves "boasting" or "bragging" upon one's self is a SIN, modern Fundamentalism has become nothing more than a "Bragger's Club," in which many ministers and laymen are given over completely to bragging upon their "numbers" within their congregation or within their denominational affiliation.

As I study the scriptures, I see time and again that this is something God hates. For he wishes people to trust Him and brag upon Him, rather than bragging upon themselves and their own strength. One case in point will suffice to prove this. In 1 Chronicles 21:1, we read of King David, and how Satan provoked David to want to number Israel, so he could boast of his army. Even Joab, David's evil captain of the guard was against this, but he obeyed. What happened? God got so angry with David's wanting to "number" his host, that God came to him and told him that he was going to judge David and take out his wrath on Israel. David responds in vs 17, "...Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed..."

God doesn't want us to brag upon our numbers and how many we are. He wants us to focus on Him and how great He is!

James chapter four and verses 15-16 even tell us: "For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil."

Did you catch that? To boast of your own strength and rejoice in your boastings is EVIL!

Yet modern Fundamentalists do just that, rejoicing in their movements, their numbers, and their small kingdoms which they have built. They have become nothing less than modern day Pharisees who continually brag upon themselves, their ministries, their programs, etc. But, what's wrong with just simply bragging on Jesus, and boasting about what He's done?

If the apostle Paul were here today, I'm sure he'd be sickened by what he would see in modern Christianity, in which people are busy boasting of themselves rather than bragging on Jesus.

Let's look at an example of how Paul spoke to others about "boasting" in 2 Cor. 10. And as you read this passage, notice how many times he uses the word "boast" and how he makes it a point to not boast of himself and his numbers, rather to simply glorify God.

12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.

14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:

15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,

16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand.

17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Clearly, the sin of man boasting about himself is not something the apostle Paul was guilty of. But compare that with how "Christians" act today, especially Modern Fundamentalists who brag upon their movements and boast about their ministries and what they are doing for God. They almost sound exactly like the Pharisees of old, who bragged about their positions and power, while they chose not to humble themselves before Jesus Christ and honor Him by giving Him all the glory.

So conceited were the Pharisees that they almost exalted themselves to godhood, thinking they could do not wrong. And what happened? When God did show up, they thought they knew better than he did, and even ridiculed Him, and eventually crucified Him.

Just look at the arrogance and pride of the Pharisees as they speak to Jesus in John chapter 8:

33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father.

41 Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication;

48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?

The Pharisees bragged about being of a certain seed and of having Abraham as their Father (Man worship). But in their conceited self-righteous pride, they had the audacity to accuse Jesus of being a bastard and demon possessed. How could they do such a thing? It was because they for so long had bragged upon themselves, who they were, and where they came from, that they couldn't come to accept they could be wrong. Bragging or Boasting on one's self, or one's movement, leads to them being puffed up with PRIDE, something which keeps people from humbling themselves before God.

Interestingly enough, in the same passage, God says they are of their father the Devil (in vs 44). And how odd, that in Job chapter 41 and verse 34 we are told that Leviathan (or Satan) is the KING over all the children of Pride.

The sin of boasting, then, is not only a damnable sin which not only exalts sinners and downgrades the Saviour, but it is a sin which can also lead people to denying Christ just as the Pharisees of old!

Is it no wonder that God used the apostle Paul to pen these amazing words about salvation in Ephesians 2:8,9:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST.

According to the Bible, we are not to boast, period. We should rather brag on Jesus. For boasting oftentimes leads us to thinking we are something we are not. It makes us think we are better than others or more important. And it can even lead a person to HELL, if he is so used to bragging upon himself that he thinks he is good enough to get to heaven without Jesus Christ.

That leads us to this important question: "Are you a bragger?"

If you are guilty of boasting on your denomination, or your own good works, or something you've done for God, why not repent right now? By repent I mean, "Feel sorry for it, and humble yourself before God." Boasting oftentimes exalts us, and downgrades Jesus. Why would you want to do that? Why not say with John the Baptist, HE must increase and I must decrease!

What's wrong with instead of saying, "I did such and such for God..." Why not say, "God's done such and such with me!" Give God the glory! Stop stealing it for yourself! Don't be a modern day Pharisee!

God's not interested in your works or your boastings. If you brag about yourself or what you are doing, even if it's done for God, He could care less!!! All God wants is for us to brag on Him, and if we boast, let us boast about what he's done for us, not what we are doing for him. For only He is worthy of praise and honor (Rev. 4:11).

2 comments:

  1. Your writing has inspired me and changed me. Thanks to you I can understand why boasting is bad. I'm going to do my best to not boast about myself anymore. Thank you for the lesson and opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello. You reference the scripture relating to "esteem others..." as originating from Philippians 1:3, however the correct scripture comes from Philippians 2:3 - "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."

    ReplyDelete