Abraham our forefather was justified by faith, not by works of the Law. And God’s promise of offspring was granted through faith, not by the written Law. [UPDATED]
Abraham, our forefather. In the New Testament, the word “forefather” only occurs here.
VERSE 2. For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not toward God.
if Abraham was justified by works. But he was not. Even for mighty Abraham, it was not about his own spiritual achievements. Rather, what counted was his faith.
but not toward God. If we could establish our finite righteousness by works, we would still have nothing to boast about before God.
VERSE 3. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
it was accounted to him. This is an accounting term. The Greek word is elogisthê, which is from logizomai. Because Abraham believed, God imputed righteousness to his account.
Genesis 15:6. He [Abraham] believed in the LORD, who credited it to him for righteousness.
VERSE 4. Now to him who works, the reward is not counted as grace, but as something owed.
VERSE 5. But to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.
VERSE 6. Even as David also pronounces blessing on the man to whom God counts righteousness apart from works,
Psalm 32:1-2. Blessed is he whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD doesn’t impute iniquity, in whose spirit there is no deceit.
charge with sin. God is not crediting sin to the person’s account.
VERSE 9. Is this blessing then pronounced on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness.
VERSE 10. How then was it counted? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
in uncircumcision. This blessedness is for the uncircumcised (Gentiles) as well as for the circumcised (Jewish people).
VERSE 11. He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while he was in uncircumcision, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they might be in uncircumcision, that righteousness might also be accounted to them.
VERSE 12. He is the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had in uncircumcision.
VERSE 13. For the promise to Abraham and to his offspring that he should be heir of the world wasn’t through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
wasn’t through the law. It was NOT through Law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise.
That is because God’s promise in Genesis 12:1-3 preceded the giving of the Law by centuries.
VERSE 14. For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of no effect.
VERSE 15. For the law produces wrath, for where there is no law, neither is there disobedience.
VERSE 16. For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace, to the end that the promise may be sure to all the offspring, not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.
the father of us all. Abram is often referred to as our father in faith. He wasn’t “saved” by good works or by keeping the Old Testament Law, but by trusting the words of God. Read more »
VERSE 17. As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations.” This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were.
calls the things that are not, as though they were. Some Christians believe they can cause miracles by speaking them into existence. They point to this phrase.
However, in this phrase, the one who is speaking is God, and not a Christian believer.
VERSE 18. Besides hope, Abraham in hope believed, to the end that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, “So will your offspring be.”
VERSE 19. Without being weakened in faith, he didn’t consider his own body, already having been worn out, (he being about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.
Without being weakened in faith. The LORD God told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. Yet it did not seem possible.
Somehow, Abraham persisted in faith, believing God’s promise that it would indeed happen.
VERSE 20. Yet, looking to the promise of God, he didn’t waver through unbelief, but grew strong through faith, giving glory to God,
he didn’t waver through unbelief. Abraham believed God’s promise. He did not waiver. He did not flounder in unbelief.
grew strong through faith. Rather than his faith weakening over time, Abraham grew stronger in his faith.
being fully assured. Abraham stubbornly persisted in believing God’s promise. He was fully persuaded. He disregarded any “evidence” to the contrary.
he was also able to perform. Abraham believed that God had the power to do what he had promised.
VERSE 22. Therefore it also was “credited to him for righteousness.”
VERSE 23. Now it was not written that it was accounted to him for his sake alone,
VERSE 24. but for our sake also, to whom it will be accounted, who believe in him who raised Jesus, our Lord, from the dead,
VERSE 25. who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.