1What should we say about these things? What did Abraham, the father of our people, discover about being right with God?2Did he become right with God because of something he did? If so, he could boast about it. But he couldn’t boast to God.3What do we find in Scripture? It says, ‘Abraham believed God. God accepted Abraham’s faith, and so his faith made him right with God.’ (Ge 15:6)4When a person works, their pay is not considered a gift. It is owed to them.5But things are different with God. He makes ungodly people right with himself. If people trust in him, their faith is accepted even though they do not work. Their faith makes them right with God.6King David says the same thing. He tells us how blessed people are when God makes them right with himself. They are blessed because they don’t have to do anything in return. David says,7‘Blessed are those whose lawless acts are forgiven. Blessed are those whose sins are taken away.8Blessed is the person whose sin the Lord never counts against them.’ (Ps 32:1; Ps 32:2)9Is that blessing only for those who are circumcised? Or is it also for those who are not circumcised? We have been saying that God accepted Abraham’s faith. So his faith made him right with God.10When did it happen? Was it after Abraham was circumcised, or before? It was before he was circumcised, not after!11He was circumcised as a sign of the covenant God had made with him. It showed that his faith had made him right with God before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the father of all believers who have not been circumcised. God accepts their faith. So their faith makes them right with him.12And Abraham is also the father of those who are circumcised and believe. So just being circumcised is not enough. Those who are circumcised must also follow the steps of our father Abraham. He had faith before he was circumcised.13Abraham and his family received a promise. God promised that Abraham would receive the world. It would not come to him because he obeyed the law. It would come because of his faith, which made him right with God.14Do those who depend on the law receive the promise? If they do, faith would mean nothing. God’s promise would be worthless.15The law brings God’s anger. Where there is no law, the law can’t be broken.16The promise is based on God’s grace. The promise comes by faith. All of Abraham’s children will certainly receive the promise. And it is not only for those who are ruled by the law. Those who have the same faith that Abraham had are also included. He is the father of us all.17It is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations.’ God considers Abraham to be our father. The God that Abraham believed in gives life to the dead. Abraham’s God also creates things that did not exist before. (Ge 17:5)18When there was no reason for hope, Abraham believed because he had hope. He became the father of many nations, exactly as God had promised. God said, ‘That is how many children you will have.’ (Ge 15:5)19Abraham did not become weak in his faith. He accepted the fact that he was past the time when he could have children. At that time Abraham was about 100 years old. He also realised that Sarah was too old to have children.20But Abraham kept believing in God’s promise. He became strong in his faith. He gave glory to God.21He was absolutely sure that God had the power to do what he had promised.22That’s why ‘God accepted Abraham because he believed. So his faith made him right with God.’ (Ge 15:6)23The words ‘God accepted Abraham’s faith’ were written not only for Abraham.24They were written also for us. We believe in the God who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. So God will accept our faith and make us right with himself.25Jesus was handed over to die for our sins. He was raised to life in order to make us right with God.
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)