A Short Study of Romans 15:17
“I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.”
Paul was very careful throughout his ministry not to glory, boast or brag in the flesh (Philippians 3:7-9). He taught others not to do this and certainly he would not glory in himself; not in his religious heritage, nor in his attainments or gifts, nor in his labours and success in the ministry but only “through Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). Read this statement carefully, “By the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1st Corinthians 15:10)
All the apostles and those who truly believe the gospel of God’s grace only glory “in those things that pertain to God.” As a result of Adam’s sin, rebellion and fall into condemnation, we have absolutely no reason to glory in the flesh. The things that pertain to our sinful nature give us no motivation to glory or honour the old man and his deeds (Galatians 5:19-21). We are told in scripture to, “put off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:9). We truly can only glory in those things that pertain to God. What are those things?
1). We glory in Christ incarnate as the only hope for sinners. “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1st Timothy 3:16)
2). We glory in Christ crucified as the only remedy to put away our sin. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” (1st Peter 3:18)
3). We glory in Christ Jesus Who is all our sufficient righteousness and acceptance before a thrice holy God. “Wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:6-7)
4). We glory in Christ Jesus exalted and seated at God’s right hand as all our justification before God. “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” (Romans 4:25)
5). We glory in Christ Jesus coming again as all our hope throughout eternity. When He comes we shall not only see Him as He is, but we shall also be made like Him forever (Psalm 17:15; 1st John 3:1-2).
Every believer can say with David, “My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” (Psalm 34:1-4)