Doctrine of Boasting

July 25, 2010


I.  Vocabulary.
A.  Hebrew vocabulary.
1.  halal, verb, to be clear, bright, or brilliant,  to
shine, to be praised or celebrated.  In the Hithpael,  it
means to glory, boast or brag, esp. concerning oneself.
2.  Other words are translated “boast” which do not  strictly
mean boast, but are understood  by  context  to  indicate
B.  Greek vocabulary.
1.  kauchaomai, verb, 38X, to glory, with  reason
or without reason, to boast or brag.
2.  kauchema, n.noun, 11X,  that  about  which  one
boasts, the matter or ground which provides the basis for
3.  kauchesis, f.noun, 12X, the act of glorying or
4.  engkauchaomai, verb, 1X, to boast in.
5.  katakauchaomai,  verb,  4X,   to   boast
against, to exult over.
6.  alazoneia, f.noun, 2X, empty  talk,  insolent
assurance which trusts in its own power and/or resources.
7.  alazon, noun, 2X, an empty pretender, a boaster.

II. Definition.
A.  Boasting is verbal activity which may or may not  be  sinful,
depending upon the ground or basis of the boasting.
B.  Outside the New Testament it was usually used in a bad sense.
C.  Webster defines boasting as, “speaking in a  vainglorious  or
ostentatious fashion, to exalt oneself, to give  an  inflated
idea of who one is, what  they  have  done,  the  gifts  they
possess, etc.”
D.  Boasting is verbal activity which comes as a result of  pride
in something or someone, often in oneself.

III.Sinful boasting.
A.  The word of God  has  much  to  say  concerning  this  verbal
activity and the inappropriateness of it.  Jam. 3:5
B.  The STA is the sponsor of all sinful boasting, and  pride  is
the MA which prompts  this  activity.   ISam.  2:3;  IIChron.
25:19; Ps. 10:3; Isa. 16:6; Jam. 4:16
C.  God, The  Almighty,  will  ultimately  silence  all  arrogant
boasting.  Ps. 5:5; Isa. 44:25; ICor. 1:26-28
D.  The fundamental problem boasters have is their arrogance  and
pride complex which does not acknowledge the Lord, His place,
His claims on their life, or His grace.  ICor. 4:7
E.  Specific areas of STA sponsored boasting include the  follow-
1.  Human intelligence/education.  Prov. 20:14;  Jere.  9:23;
ICor. 1:26,27
2.  Human power/military might/allies.  Jud. 7:2;  Ps.  20:7;
Isa. 20:5
3.  Wealth.  Ps. 49:6; Jere. 9:23, 49:4; IJn. 2:16
4.  The future.  Prov. 27:1; Lk. 12:16-21; Jam. 4:13-16
5.  Religion without truth.  Deut.  29:19;  Ps.  97:7;  Jere.
23:32; Rom. 2:17,23;
6.  Toleration of evil.  ICor. 5:6
7.  Other men, esp. communicators.  ICor. 3:21, 4:6
8.  Anti-semitism.  Obad. 1:12; Rom. 11:18
9.  Criminal activity.  Ps. 10:3-4, 52:1ff, 94:1ff
10.  Destruction of ones enemies.  Job. 31:29; Obad 12
F.  People generally boast about themselves based on:
1.  Their physical heritage.  Rom. 2:17 racial arrogance.
2.  Their gifts, real or imagined.  Prov. 25:14; ICor. 4:7
3.  What isn’t theirs to boast about.  IICor. 10:13,15,16

IV. Sanctified boasting.
A.  There exists a legitimate form of  boasting  opposed  to  the
spirit of cosmic boasting.
B.  Generally people boast of themselves; the  adjusted  believer
is to limit his boasting to God  and  His  plan.   Ps.  34:2,
44:8; Jere. 9:24; Rom. 15:17; ICor. 1:31; IICor. 10:17;  Gal.
C.  The fact that one cannot legitimately boast of  his  position
and accomplishments is contingent solely  upon  grace.   Rom.
3:27, 4:2; ICor. 4:7; Eph. 2:9
D.  In relation to salvation and the CWL,  grace  destroys  human
pride/boasting in accomplishments.
E.  Specific areas in which sanctified boasting is permitted:
1.  The cross/work of Christ.  Gal. 6:14
2.  God/His name.  Ps. 5:11, 9:2
3.  Ph1 salvation.  Rom. 5:11
4.  God’s deliverance(s).  Ps. 35:9
5.  Knowing Bible doctrine.  Jere. 9:24
6.  SG3.  Rom. 5:2; Heb. 3:6
7.  Suffering.  Rom. 5:3; IICor. 12:5,9; IPet. 4:13
F.  There is a legitimate self-evaluation before the  Lord  which
provides the basis for sanctified boasting.  Gal. 6:4
G.  The greatest time of sanctified boasting will  occur  at  the
Bema seat, but only for those  who  have  complied  with  the
dictates of doctrine.  IICor. 1:14; Phil. 2:16; IThess. 2:19;
IPet. 4:13

V.  Boasting and the ministry.
A.  Right pastor has the right to boast  in  right  congregation.
IICor. 7:4,14, 8:24, 9:3; IIThess. 1:4
B.  Right congregation can boast in right pastor.   IICor.  1:14,
5:12, Phil. 1:26
C.  The PT may boast about the authority he has been given by the
Lord.  IICor. 10:8
D.  The PT who is correctly fulfilling the work of  the  ministry
has grounds to boast.  IICor. 1:12
E.  The PT  who  supports  himself  in  order  to  provide  Bible
doctrine to positive volition may boast.  ICor. 9:15;  IICor.
F.  The adjusted  communicator  does  not  concern  himself  with
other’s accomplishments,  but  limits  his  boasting  to  his
canon.  IICor. 10:13ff
G.  False teachers desire converts to follow  them  so  they  can
boast about their success.  Gal. 6:13

VI. Conclusions.
A.  Most of the boasting which occurs in the world is not in line
with the dictates of  Scripture,  is  STA  motivated  and  is
designed merely to exalt the one doing it.
B.  Self-exaltation is a waste of a believer’s time.  Prov. 27:2
C.  Sanctified boasting involves the ability, and willingness, to
bring doctrinal realities to bear on your niche.  Jam. 1:9-10
D.  Our boasting is  never  to  be  centered  in  ourselves,  our
abilities, our accomplishments, etc. but in the Lord and  the
glorious realities of His plan.  Jere. 9:23-24; ICor. 1:31
E.  We place no confidence in our flesh, and  recognize  that  no
one has any edge when it comes  to  the  adjustments  to  God
based on fleshly criteria.  Phil. 3:1ff
F.  Although it is prophesied that this will be a  characteristic
of those living in the last  days,  believers  are  to  avoid
self-exaltation and the resultant  STA  it  prompts.   IITim.
3:2; Gal. 5:26
G.  Antichrist is characterized by this activity.  Dan. 7:8,11

“…let him who boasts boast of this, that he under-
stands and knows Me, that I am the Lord…”
Jere. 9:24

“Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
ICor. 1:31