Romans 4
Berean Study Bible

Abraham Justified by Faith
(Genesis 15:1-7; Galatians 3:1-9; Hebrews 11:8-19; James 2:14-26)

1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, has discovered? 2If Abraham was indeed justified by works, he had something to boast about, but not before God. 3For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”a

4Now the wages of the worker are not credited as a gift, but as an obligation. 5However, to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness, 6just as David proclaims the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

7“Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven,

whose sins are covered;

8Blessed is the man

whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”b

9Is this blessing only on the circumcised, or also on the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited as righteousness. 10In what context was it credited? Was it after his circumcision, or before? It was not after, but before.

11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So he is the father of all who believe but are not circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised, but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

Abraham Receives the Promise
(Genesis 15:8-21; Numbers 34:1-15)

13For the promise that Abraham would be heir of the world was not made to him and his descendants through the Law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14For if those who live by the Law are heirs, faith is useless and the promise is worthless, 15because the Law brings wrath. And where there is no law, there is no transgression.

16Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may rest on grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”c He is our father in the presence of God, in whom he believed, the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not yet exist.

18Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.”d 19Without weakening in his faith, he acknowledged the decrepitness of his body (since he was about a hundred years old) and the lifelessness of Sarah’s womb.

20Yet he did not waver through disbelief in the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God was able to do what He had promised. 22That is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”e

23Now the words “it was credited to him” were written not only for Abraham, 24but also for us, to whom righteousness will be credited—for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25He was delivered over to death for our trespasses and was raised to life for our justification.

a 3 Genesis 15:6
b 7-8 Psalm 32:1,2
c 17 Genesis 17:5
d 18 Genesis 15:5
e 22 Genesis 15:6

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