Vainglory

 

 

Vainglory, as the word itself indicates, is a vain glory, therefore we must see that we do not glory in vain. You may ask: ‘Could you tell me how a believer can glory in vain?’ Here is the answer: if a believer glories in his riches (because he has got much money and many houses etc.), or in his physical strength (because he can lift big weights), or in his own wisdom (because he has studied some particular scientific subjects for many years, or he has some degrees, or he received some academic acknowledgements), etc. he glories in vain. For God commands us not to glory in these things, as it is written: “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches” (Jeremiah 9:23). To glory in being a Jew by birth or a descendant of one of the twelve patriarchs such as Judah, Benjamin, and Levi is to glory in vain, for Paul – who was a Jew according to the flesh and a descendant of Benjamin - wrote to the Philippians: “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Philippians 3:4-9).

However, while on the one hand we are not allowed to glory in certain things, on the other hand we are allowed to glory in other things, for God said through Jeremiah: “But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:24). In other words, it is a right thing to glory in the Lord, that is to say, to glory in having received intelligence from God, to glory in knowing God or rather in being known by God. In addition to this, it is a right thing to glory in having been reconciled to God through faith in Christ, as it is written: “We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Romans 5:11 – NKJV. The IBRV reads ‘ma anche ci gloriamo in Dio…..,’ that is, ‘we also glory in God….”); in having been called by God to His everlasting glory, as it is written: “We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2 – NIV. The IBRV reads ‘ci gloriamo nella speranza ….’ that is, ‘we glory in the hope….’). And not only that, but it is also right to glory in our sufferings, as it is written: “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:3-5).

Brothers, let us not become vainglorious, provoking and envying each other.

 

 

 

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