Abraham, father of the just
4 • 1 Let us consider Abraham, our father in the flesh. What has he found? 2 If Abraham attained righteousness because of his deeds, he could be proud. But he cannot be this before God. 3 Because Scripture says: Abraham believed God who took it into account and held him to be a just man.
4 Now, when someone does a work, salary is not given as a favor, but as a debt that is paid. 5 Here, on the contrary, someone who has no deeds to show but believes in Him who makes sinners righteous before him: such faith is taken into account and that person is held as righteous. 6 David congratulates in this way those who become righteous by the favor of God, and not by their actions: 7 Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven and whose offenses are forgotten; 8 blessed the one whose sin God does not take into account!
9 Is this blessing only for the circumcised or is it also for the uncircumcised? We have just said that, because of his faith, Abraham was made a just man, 10 but when did this happen? After Abraham was circumcised, or before? Not after, but before. 11 He received the rite of circumcision as a sign of the righteousness given him through faith when he was still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those uncircumcised who come to faith and are made just. 12 And he was to be the father of the Jews, provided that besides being circumcised, they also imitate the faith Abraham showed before being circumcised.
13 If God promised Abraham, or rather his descendants, that the world would belong to him, this was not because of his obeying the Law, but because he was just and a friend of God through faith. 14 If now the promise is kept for those who rely on the Law, then faith has no power and nothing is left of the promise. 15 For it is proper of the Law to bring punishment, and it is only when there is no Law that it is possible to live without breaking the Law.
16 For that reason, faith is the way and all is given by grace; and the promises of Abraham are fulfilled for all his descendants, not only for his children according to the Law, but also for all the others who have believed.
Abraham is the father of all of us, 17 as it is written: I will make you father of many nations. He is our father in the eyes of Him who gives life to the dead, and calls into existence what does not yet exist, for this is the God in whom he believed.
18 Abraham believed and hoped against all expectation, thus becoming father of many nations, as he had been told: See how many will be your descendants. 19 He did not doubt although his body could no longer give life—he was about a hundred years old—and in spite of his wife Sarah being unable to have children. 20 He did not doubt nor did he distrust the promise of God, and by being strong in faith, he gave glory to God: 21 he was convinced that He who had given the promise had power to fulfill it.
22 This was taken into account for him to attain righteousness. 23 This was taken into account: these words of Scripture are not only for him, 24 but for us, too, because we believe in Him who raised Jesus, our Lord, from among the dead, 25 he who was delivered for our sins and raised to life for us to receive true righteousness.
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