Bible: Romans 3:21-4:25

3:21 But now 1  apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) 2  has been disclosed 3:22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ 3  for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 3:24 But they are justified 4  freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 3:25 God publicly displayed 5  him 6  at his death 7  as the mercy seat 8  accessible through faith. 9  This was to demonstrate 10  his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed. 11  3:26 This was 12  also to demonstrate 13  his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just 14  and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesusfaithfulness. 15 

3:27 Where, then, is boasting? 16  It is excluded! By what principle? 17  Of works? No, but by the principle of faith! 3:28 For we consider that a person 18  is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law. 19  3:29 Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles too? Yes, of the Gentiles too! 3:30 Since God is one, 20  he will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 3:31 Do we then nullify 21  the law through faith? Absolutely not! Instead 22  we uphold the law.

The Illustration of Justification

4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh, 23  has discovered regarding this matter? 24  4:2 For if Abraham was declared righteous 25  by the works of the law, he has something to boast about – but not before God. 4:3 For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited 26  to him as righteousness.” 27  4:4 Now to the one who works, his pay is not credited due to grace but due to obligation. 28  4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous, 29  his faith is credited as righteousness.

4:6 So even David himself speaks regarding the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

4:7Blessed 30  are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;

4:8 blessed is the one 31  against whom the Lord will never count 32  sin.” 33 

4:9 Is this blessedness 34  then for 35  the circumcision 36  or also for 37  the uncircumcision? For we say, “faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 38  4:10 How then was it credited to him? Was he circumcised at the time, or not? No, he was not circumcised but uncircumcised! 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised, 39  so that he would become 40  the father of all those who believe but have never been circumcised, 41  that they too could have righteousness credited to them. 4:12 And he is also the father of the circumcised, 42  who are not only circumcised, but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham possessed when he was still uncircumcised. 43 

4:13 For the promise 44  to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not fulfilled through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 4:14 For if they become heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified. 45  4:15 For the law brings wrath, because where there is no law there is no transgression 46  either. 4:16 For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace, 47  with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants – not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham, 48  who is the father of us all 4:17 (as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations). 49  He is our father 50  in the presence of God whom he believed – the God who 51  makes the dead alive and summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do. 52  4:18 Against hope Abraham 53  believed 54  in hope with the result that he became the father of many nations 55  according to the pronouncement, 56 so will your descendants be.” 57  4:19 Without being weak in faith, he considered 58  his own body as dead 59  (because he was about one hundred years old) and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 4:20 He 60  did not waver in unbelief about the promise of God but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. 4:21 He was 61  fully convinced that what God 62  promised he was also able to do. 4:22 So indeed it was credited to Abraham 63  as righteousness.

4:23 But the statement it was credited to him 64  was not written only for Abraham’s 65  sake, 4:24 but also for our sake, to whom it will be credited, those who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 4:25 He 66  was given over 67  because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of 68  our justification. 69 

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