The Example of Abraham
4 1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father according to flesh has found? 2 For if Abraham has been justified on the principle of works, he has whereof to boast: but not before God; 3 for what does the scripture say? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. 4 Now to him that works the reward is not reckoned as of grace, but of debt: 5 but to him who does not work, but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness. 6 Even as David also declares the blessedness of the man to whom God reckons righteousness without works: 7 Blessed [they] whose lawlessnesses have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered: 8 blessed [the] man to whom [the] Lord shall not at all reckon sin.
9 [Does] this blessedness then [rest] on the circumcision, or also on the uncircumcision? For we say that faith has been reckoned to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then has it been reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And he received [the] sign of circumcision [as] seal of the righteousness of faith which [he had] being in uncircumcision, that he might be [the] father of all them that believe being in uncircumcision, that righteousness might be reckoned to them also; 12 and father of circumcision, not only to those who are of [the] circumcision, but to those also who walk in the steps of the faith, during uncircumcision, of our father Abraham.
The Promise Realized through Faith
13 For [it was] not by law that the promise was to Abraham, or to his seed, that he should be heir of [the] world, but by righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which [are] of law be heirs, faith is made vain, and the promise made of no effect. 15 For law works wrath; but where no law is neither [is there] transgression. 16 Therefore [it is] on the principle of faith, that [it might be] according to grace, in order to the promise being sure to all the seed, not to that only which [is] of the law, but to that also which [is] of Abraham's faith, who is father of us all,
17 (according as it is written, I have made thee father of many nations,) before the God whom he believed, who quickens the dead, and calls the things which be not as being; 18 who against hope believed in hope to his becoming father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be: 19 and not being weak in faith, he considered not his own body already become dead, being about a hundred years old, and the deadening of Sarah's womb, 20 and hesitated not at the promise of God through unbelief; but found strength in faith, giving glory to God; 21 and being fully persuaded that what he has promised he is able also to do; 22 wherefore also it was reckoned to him as righteousness.
23 Now it was not written on his account alone that it was reckoned to him, 24 but on ours also, to whom, believing on him who has raised from among [the] dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who has been delivered for our offences and has been raised for our justification, it will be reckoned.