If You Are Going to Boast, Boast in the Lord [1 Corinthians 1]

29so that no man may boast before God. 30But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,31so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.

I get a little nervous when I read or hear the word boast.  Isn't it prideful to boast? So I looked the word up in The Complete Wordstudy, New Testament by Spiros Zodhiates Th.D., one of my favorite tools for studying the Bible. The definition was helpful but still left me thinking about pride.  And then I noticed that Paul uses this same word 33 times in 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians.  I realized he doesn't shy away from using the word. And it must be important to his message to use the same word that many times.

Greek Definiton:  (Strong's Number 2644)
"To boast, glory, exalt in a good and bad sense."

Webster's Definition:
"To speak of or assert with excessive pride. Boast often suggests ostentation or exaggeration but it may imply a claiming with proper and justifiaable pride."

In this passage, God is urging us to consider our calling. Most of us were not very wise or powerful in the world's sense. God has chosen the world's insignificant and despised things so He might "bring to nothing the things viewed as something"  (Holman CSB).
What is our calling?  We are in Christ Jesus, who is wisdom from God, righteousness, sanctifiction and redemption.  That is something to boast about!  It is a proper claim and we can exalt in a good sense about this truth. 

Let's keep an eye out for the word "boast" as we read these books and remember the definition.
Verna McCrillis, 11/4/2008