8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)
It is very common in the visible church in our time to hear preachers and teachers and people within local bodies of believers to boast about all sorts of things pertaining to their salvation or walk. They boast about their confirmation, baptism, church membership, Holy Communion, keeping the Ten Commandments, living the Sermon on the Mount, giving to charity, and living a moral life. It is not uncommon to hear some even boast about their faith, but all boasting is rooted in good works, not grace.
In this post we will look at the Greek word that is translated as “boast.” The Apostle Paul used a form of καυχάομαι (kauchaomai), “to boast, vaunt oneself, be proud,” thirty-five times in his letters. Paul’s argument is against those who were “boasting” in their walk or salvation went something like my following paraphrase from 1 Corinthians 4:7, “For who made you to differ from another? And what have you that you did not receive? Now if you did receive it, why do you “glory” [καυχάομαι] as if you had not received it?” Do you see how any form of man-centered “theology” would have a problem with Paul’s argument?