The Righteousness of Abraham by Faith
(1) Therefore, what should we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? (2) For if Abraham was made right (declared righteous, justified) with God by the works of the law of Moses, then he had something to boast in pride about—but not before God. (3) For it is written in Genesis 15:6, “Abraham believed God, and his faith was credited to him as righteousness.”
(4) Now to those who work, their wages are not considered a gift, but as an obligation because they deserve what they are paid for their work. (5) However, to those who do not work but trust God who declares the ungodly righteous (justifies), their faith is credited to them as righteousness. (6) David tells us the same thing in Psalm 32:1-2 when he speaks of the blessedness of those who are made right with God (declared righteous, justified) apart from the works of the law of Moses: (7) “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. (8) Blessed is the one whose sins the Lord will never count against him.”
(9) Is God’s blessing of righteousness only for the circumcised Jews, or also for uncircumcised non-Jews? As we have said, Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness.
Abraham Is the Father of All Who Believe
(10) Under what circumstances was righteousness credited to Abraham? Was it before he was circumcised, or when he was circumcised? It was before he was circumcised, not after! (11) And Abraham received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had received by faith while he was still uncircumcised.
So then, Abraham is the father of all uncircumcised non-Jews who believe, so that righteousness might be credited to them. (12) And he is also the father of circumcised Jews who are not only circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
The Promise of Abraham by Faith
(13) It was not through the law of Moses that Abraham and his offspring received God’s promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that is received by faith. (14) For if those who depend on the works of the law of Moses are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise to Abraham is worthless, (15) because the law only brings judgment. And where there is no law there is no wrongdoing.
(16) Therefore, God’s promise to Abraham is received by faith, so that it will be by grace and will be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to Jews under the law of Moses but also to everyone who has the faith of Abraham. For he is the father of us all through faith! (17) As it is written in Genesis 17:5, “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in God’s sight, because he believed that God gives life to the dead and calls into being things that did not exist.
The Faith of Abraham
(18) Against all hope (human possibilities), Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations as God told him in Genesis 15:5, “So will your offspring be.” (19) Abraham did not grow weak in his faith toward God, even though he knew his 100-year-old body was as good as dead—and that Sarah’s body was too old to give birth to any children.
(20) Yet Abraham did not waver through unbelief toward God’s promise to him, but he grew stronger in his faith and gave God all the glory. (21) For he was fully convinced that God had the power to do what he had promised. (22) This is why it is written in Genesis 15:6 that Abraham’s faith “was credited to him as righteousness.”
(23) However, the words “it was credited to him as righteousness” were written not for Abraham alone, (24) but also for us, whom God will make right with him (declare righteous, justify), because we believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. (25) Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life to make us right with God (for our justification).