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v. boast·ed, boast·ing, boasts
To glorify oneself in speech; talk in a self-admiring way.
- [Eph 2:8] For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God-- 9 not because of works, lest any man should boast.
[Eph 2:10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
O.K. I think it would be safe to say the foundation of Protestant theology is Ephesians 2:8,9. It echoes Roman 3.
Protestants charge that salvation within the Catholic Church is based on works. But look at Ephesians 2:8 "…lest any man should boast".
When Paul says: "lest any man should boast." Paul is qualifying the WORKS as BOASTFUL; defining the actions as godless deeds performed in selfishness for self-glorification.
BOASTING implies pride, selfishness, self-glorification. BOASTING would imply being separate from God. Doing an act entirely for your own self-glorification. In other words - the person who boasts is his own god. There is no real connection to God or Heaven in the person or the act.
Now if a person does a good work BECAUSE he believes God wants him to, this is totally different. Indeed, the good work he does CONFIRMS his FAITH in God is TRUE.
[Jas 2:21] Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?
And it does help him to get to Heaven. This is a PROMISE of the Lord:
...Heaven...for just a cup of water...amazing...
- [Mat 10:42] And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward."
- If a man is inspired by God through the Church to practice righteousness, he could not boast that it was all his doing. In honesty he would have to give all the glory to God.
It would be good to remind us that FAITH without love is NOTHING:
This illuminates the lack of understanding some Protestants have in regard to these scriptures. Reflecting Paul's words, Catholics work out their salvation with fear and trembling [Phil 2:12]. For by baptism we were re-created in Christ Jesus for good works, that we should always walk in them. This is the road to Heaven: working for the glory of God, not our own self-glorification. Because, obviously humans have no power to glorify ourselves, only God has the power of glory.
What determines the TRUE goodness of an act is whether it was done for the glory of God or the glory of self.
The man who boasts in his works is quite separate from the Holy Spirit.
I believe most Catholics practice righteousness because they believe it is what God wants us to do. The Church from scripture teaches:
- [Rom 2:6] God will give to every man his right reward:
- [Rom 2:7] To those who go on with good works in the hope of glory and honour and salvation from death, he will give eternal life:
- [Rom 2:8] but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury.
Boasting would produce a statement like this:
"I am doing this because I am god and I do it for my own glory".
Most Catholics are highly aware of the Lord. He is always before us. If a person has the boasting statement above in their heart, I would say that person is a COUNTERFIT Catholic - A fake.
A TRUE Catholic is one who practices righteousness because of the Spirit of Christ. Out of love and devotion to Jesus.
All Glory and Honor are yours Almighty One, forever and ever, Amen!