1What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?2For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.3For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.6Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,7Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.8Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.9Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.10How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:12And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.13For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.14For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:15Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.16Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,17(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.18Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.19And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:20He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;21And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.22And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.23Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;24But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;25Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
English Standard Version
Abraham Justified by Faith
1What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? (Ro 4:16)2For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. (1Co 1:31)3For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” (Ge 15:6; Ro 4:9; Ro 4:22; Ga 3:6; Tit 3:8; Jas 2:23)4Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. (De 9:4; Ro 11:6)5And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, (Joh 6:29; Ro 3:22)6just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:7“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; (Ps 32:1)8blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” (2Co 5:19)9Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. (Ro 3:30; Ro 4:3)10How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised.11He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, (Ge 17:10; Lu 19:9; Ro 3:22; Ro 4:12; Ro 4:16)12and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
The Promise Realized Through Faith
13For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. (Ge 17:4; Ac 13:32; Ro 9:8; Ga 3:16; Heb 6:15; Heb 6:17; Heb 7:6; Heb 11:9; Heb 11:17)14For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. (Ga 3:17)15For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. (Ro 3:20; Ro 7:7; Ro 7:10; 2Co 3:7; 2Co 3:9; Ga 3:10; Ga 3:19)16That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (Ro 3:24; Ro 9:8; Ro 15:8; Ga 3:22)17as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. (Ge 17:5; Joh 5:21; Ro 4:18; 1Co 1:28; Heb 11:3; Heb 11:19)18In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” (Ge 15:5)19He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. (Ge 17:17; Ge 18:11; Heb 11:12)20No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,21fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. (Ge 18:14; Heb 11:19)22That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.”23But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, (Ps 102:18; Ro 15:4; 1Co 9:9; 1Co 10:6; 1Co 10:11; 2Ti 3:16)24but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, (Ac 2:24; Ro 10:9; 1Pe 1:21)25who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Isa 53:5; Mt 20:28; Ro 5:6; Ro 5:8; Ro 5:18; Ro 8:32; 1Co 15:17; Ga 1:4)