A man is hit in the face by a much larger and stronger man's fist in full force.
He falls back and down on the ground.
How can the man who has been hit boast?
He did what anyone who was hit in the face by a much stronger and larger man would have done: fall back and on the ground.
being hit in the face by a much larger and stronger man
being open to the powerful and convicting, Holy Spirit persuading gospel message
falling back and to the ground
the passive response of faith that comes as a result of being persuaded/convinced of the gospel message
The question is:
How can someone legitamately boast about a passive act that would be the universal reaction of anyone found in the same circumstance? And the answer is clear: he cannot do so.
The question is not if someone can boast.
Boasting can come from anywhere, at anytime, in any circumstance, no matter what.
Cases in point:
Cannot the insane man boast that by his power the world revolves around the sun?
Cannot the liberal boast that the great state of the American economy is due to the fiscal policies and taxation of the Democratic Party?
Sure they can boast! So the question does not have to do with boasting, per se.
The question precisely has to do with "legitimate" boasting. The above two examples are not cases of legitimate boasting.
God, in the infinite and wise counsel of His own will and desire, has determined that all who believe that they are eternally secure :) by trusting Christ through His gospel promise will receive His grace, justification, and eternal life.
There cannot be any legitimate boasting on the part of one who is completely helpless relying solely upon the grace of another.
God has prescribed the way in which one is to completely rely upon Him for eternal :) life.
By taking Him at His word.