Exult Boast in Romans 5
- Exult is a translation of Greek verb καυχάομαι kauchaomai. The dictionary meanings are to take pride in something, boast about, glory in, and to have or show a satisfied contentment with achievement. It is close to the idea of rejoice. Exulting or boasting can be mental or verbal. See Romans 2.17,23; 4.1-2; 1 Corinthians 1.31, 2 Corinthians 11.18; and Philippians 3.3 to get a sense of Paul’s usage.
- There are three exults or boasts in Romans 5. Note that these are based on reconciliation and justification which God has done for us.
- Romans 5.2, exult in the expectation that in the future we will experience God’s glory (see Philippians 2.16 for somewhat similar idea).
- Romans 5.3, exult in tribulation because we know that tribulation helps us—it produces spiritual benefits (see 2 Corinthians 12.9 for a similar idea).
- Romans 5.11, exult in God because we have been reconciled. See Galatians 6.14 for a similar idea of boasting because of what God has done for us.
- The LXX in the Psalms uses this word in ways that help our understanding. Jeremiah 9.23-24; Psalm 5.12 (Eng Psalm 5.11); Psalm 31.11 (Eng Psalm 32.11); Psalm 48.7 (Eng Psalm 49.6); Psalm 93.3 (Eng Psalm 94.3); and Psalm 149.5 help us understand what it means to exult or boast in the good sense of Romans 5.
- Summary. Paul says something similar in Philippians 4.4,10 “rejoice in the Lord,” though the word is different (rejoice χαιρω chairo in Philippians, boast καυχομαι kauchomai in Romans 5). From Romans 5 we learn that we are able to exult or boast in 1. experiencing God’s glory in the future, 2. in tribulation because it helps us, 3. in our relationship with God (that we have through the death, resurrection, and present ministry of Jesus Christ who reconciled us).
- So what? To exult, boast, or even rejoice in the future, in tribulations, and in God is a doctrine that we all can apply each day and in any circumstances. It is our faith application of what God has revealed in the Bible about these three topics. We consciously think about our future home, about God using hard circumstances we go through to make us stronger Christians, and about our so great salvation. We can even say something to someone about these blessings.
- Of course, we need some understanding of God, some understanding of God’s word about life now and the future, and some understanding of our relationship with God because of Jesus Christ to confidently exult or boast as Paul has written.