Christ in All of Scripture - Jeremiah 9:23-24

Jeremiah 9:23-24

Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

Can a Christian boast? Clearly Jeremiah rejected the worldly boasting of the “wise” men, the rich, and the powerful. There is only one basis for boasting, and that is to boast in knowing the Lord. Even this might sound like pretentious pride. But in the context of God’s grace it is not a boasting in oneself but in the Lord. So Paul, without in any way condoning pride (Romans 3:27-28), quotes Jeremiah and encourages the Christian to boast in the Lord (1 Cor. 1:30-31).

How can this be? It is because God provides our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption—ultimately in Christ. The boasting that Jeremiah urges as a consequence of one’s knowledge of the Lord (and not one’s own qualities) anticipates the gospel. Our union with Christ by faith is the basis for any merit that we have before God, as what characterizes Christ’s perfect humanity becomes ours—imputed to us by his grace. We have the confidence and comfort of knowing that our acceptance by God is perfect, since it is based on Christ’s perfect acceptance by the Father (Rom. 3:21–26; Eph. 2:5–6). God would have to turn his back on his own Son, to turn his back on those who are united to his Son.

This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible.

Related Resources

Crossway is a not-for-profit Christian ministry that exists solely for the purpose of proclaiming the gospel through publishing gospel-centered, Bible-centered content. Learn more or donate today at