Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Boasting

I read this today and noticed that it has a good connection with what I wrote here. This is from a sermon Luther preached on John 1:16:

It is amazing that we are so given to pride, to boasting and bragging, and that we glory in such things as our beauty, riches, noble birth, power, skill, wisdom, honorable life, good works. . . .
If we want to boast, then let us boast that we receive from the fullness of Christ. . . . Whoever wishes to be safeguarded from the devil’s might and to escape sin and death must draw from this well, Christ; from Him flows all salvation and eternal bliss. This fountain is inexhaustible; it is full of grace and truth before God; it never fails no matter how much we draw from it. Even if we all dip from it without stopping, it cannot be emptied, but it remains a perennial fount of grace and truth, an unfathomable well, an eternal fountain. The more we draw from it, the more it gives. . . .
This fountain constantly overflows with sheer grace. Whoever wishes to enjoy Christ’s grace – and no one is excluded – let him come and receive it from Him. You will never drain this fountain of living water; it will never run dry. You will all draw from it much more than enough, and yet it will remain a perennial well. (Luther’s Works, 22:133–34)
We are boasters and we will boast. Many of the things we boast about are good things. However, everything we have has been given us by our gracious God, so we have no room to boast about ourselves or what we possess or what we do (1 Cor 4:7). So, the only rightful boasting is boasting in Christ (Gal 6:14). What is the reason for our boasting in Christ?


The reason for this boasting is outrageous: limitless grace. Our natural intuitions whisper, “Don’t draw too much grace just now. You have a whole lifetime ahead of you. Spread it out. Use it wisely. Don’t spend all your grace now!” The gospel scatters such law-infused thoughts with this promise: Come to Christ, keep coming to him, keep boasting in him. You will never out-sin his grace. His mercy is not measured. Not cautious, suspicious, reluctant. The kindness of Christ “constantly overflows with sheer grace.” As Jonathan Edwards said, God’s love is “an infinite ocean of love, without shores and without bottom.” Inexhaustible. - Dane Ortlund

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