Justification by Faith Evidenced in Old Testament

What then shall we say that Abraham, [a]our forefather (A)according to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham was justified [b]by works, he has something to boast about, but (B)not [c]before God. For what does the Scripture say? “(C)Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who (D)works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but (E)believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

(F)Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven,
And whose sins have been covered.
(G)Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not (H)take into account.”

Is this blessing then on [d](I)the circumcised, or on [e]the uncircumcised also? For (J)we say, “(K)Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 10 How then was it credited? While he was [f]circumcised, or [g]uncircumcised? Not while [h]circumcised, but while [i]uncircumcised; 11 and he (L)received the sign of circumcision, (M)a seal of the righteousness of the faith which [j]he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be (N)the father of (O)all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which [k]he had while uncircumcised.

13 For (P)the promise to Abraham or to his [l]descendants (Q)that he would be heir of the world was not [m]through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For (R)if those who are [n]of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; 15 for (S)the Law brings about wrath, but (T)where there is no law, there also is no violation.

16 For this reason it is [o]by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with (U)grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to (V)all the [p]descendants, not only to [q]those who are of the Law, but also to [r](W)those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is (X)the father of us all, 17 (as it is written, “(Y)A father of many nations have I made you”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, (Z)who gives life to the dead and [s](AA)calls into being (AB)that which does not exist. 18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become (AC)a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “(AD)So shall your [t]descendants be.” 19 Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now (AE)as good as dead since (AF)he was about a hundred years old, and (AG)the deadness of Sarah’s womb; 20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, (AH)giving glory to God, 21 and (AI)being fully assured that (AJ)what God had promised, He was able also to perform. 22 Therefore (AK)it was also credited to him as righteousness. 23 Now (AL)not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, 24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those (AM)who believe in Him who (AN)raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 He who was (AO)delivered over because of our transgressions, and was (AP)raised because of our justification.

Footnotes

  1. Romans 4:1 Or our forefather, has found according to the flesh
  2. Romans 4:2 Lit out of
  3. Romans 4:2 Lit toward
  4. Romans 4:9 Lit circumcision
  5. Romans 4:9 Lit uncircumcision
  6. Romans 4:10 Lit in circumcision
  7. Romans 4:10 Lit in uncircumcision
  8. Romans 4:10 Lit in circumcision
  9. Romans 4:10 Lit in uncircumcision
  10. Romans 4:11 Lit was in uncircumcision
  11. Romans 4:12 Lit was in uncircumcision
  12. Romans 4:13 Lit seed
  13. Romans 4:13 Or through law
  14. Romans 4:14 Or of law
  15. Romans 4:16 Or out of
  16. Romans 4:16 Lit seed
  17. Romans 4:16 Lit that which is
  18. Romans 4:16 Lit that which is
  19. Romans 4:17 Lit calls the things which do not exist as existing
  20. Romans 4:18 Lit seed

Abraham Justified by Faith

What then shall we say(A) that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh,(B) discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God.(C) What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[a](D)

Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift(E) but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.(F) David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

“Blessed are those
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”[b](G)

Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised?(H) We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness.(I) 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.(J) So then, he is the father(K) of all who believe(L) but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise(M) that he would be heir of the world,(N) but through the righteousness that comes by faith.(O) 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless,(P) 15 because the law brings wrath.(Q) And where there is no law there is no transgression.(R)

16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace(S) and may be guaranteed(T) to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.(U) 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”[c](V) He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life(W) to the dead and calls(X) into being things that were not.(Y)

18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations,(Z) just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”[d](AA) 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead(AB)—since he was about a hundred years old(AC)—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.(AD) 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened(AE) in his faith and gave glory to God,(AF) 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.(AG) 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”(AH) 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us,(AI) to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him(AJ) who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.(AK) 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins(AL) and was raised to life for our justification.(AM)

Footnotes

  1. Romans 4:3 Gen. 15:6; also in verse 22
  2. Romans 4:8 Psalm 32:1,2
  3. Romans 4:17 Gen. 17:5
  4. Romans 4:18 Gen. 15:5

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