Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
God lives in an absolutely perfect place called heaven. It is full of happiness and pleasure, with nothing unclean or impure. It goes on forever, and God wants you to join him there. So he tells you, “Be perfect and holy as I the Lord am perfect and holy.”
If you could be that holy, you’d have something to boast about! It would be amazing to keep every commandment of God perfectly all the time for your entire life. God does say that if you do that, you can go to heaven. That is what Paul the apostle refers to as “the law that requires works.”
Unfortunately, you have not been able to do that. Don’t kid yourself. God knows everything, and he sees that no one is perfect. When he takes a close look at your life, he sees that you have nothing to boast about. Just when you think you have kept one law; you realize that you have neglected three more.
So you are in trouble. You deserve to be separated from God and his blessings forever in a place the Bible calls hell. But God doesn’t want that to happen! So he sent his Son, Jesus, to become a human being. Jesus never did anything wrong. Every thought was perfect, every word was perfect, every deed was perfect. Jesus never neglected his duties, not even once. He deserved to go to heaven!
But instead of taking the heaven that he deserved, Jesus took the hell that you deserved. Then he said that he would credit his perfect life to you. Through faith in Jesus, you have his perfection credited as your own. That’s what Paul the apostle calls “the law that requires faith.”
You don’t have to justify your life to God. He has justified you by faith in Jesus apart from the works of the law. You have nothing to boast about, but you still go to heaven through faith in Jesus.
Dear Jesus, lead me to trust you rather than boasting about myself. Amen.