4:1Now what can we say that Abraham, our biological founder, discovered?4:2If he was justified by his actions he had something to brag about— but not before God.4:3For what does the Writing say? “Abraham believed God, and for that reason he was cleared of all charges.”4:4Now a worker’s wages are not considered a gift but a debt.4:5In contrast, the one who does not work but instead trusts in the One who justifies the ungodly, is cleared of all charges because of faith.4:6Even David says this about the happiness of the person whose charges have been cleared by God apart from actions:4:7“Happy are they whose lawlessness was pardoned, and whose failures were covered over.4:8Happy is the one the Master does not charge with failure.”
4:9Is this happiness only for the circumcision or also for the uncircumcision? We say that innocence was assigned to Abraham because of his faith.4:10Did circumcision have anything to do with it? No.4:11And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the faith that justified him before he was circumcised. So he is considered the ancestor of all who believe without circumcision.4:12Yet he is also the ancestor of the circumcised— and not just of those with physical circumcision but also of those who continue to live out the same quality of faith as Abraham.
4:13Now the promise to Abraham (or to his Descendant)— that he would inherit the world— did not come by legalistic means, but by his being declared innocent due to his faith.4:14For if those under law can enjoy the inheritance, then faith has been emptied and the promise has been nullified.4:15After all, law brings a guilty verdict, but where there is no law there can be no way to break it.
4:16Therefore, the promise is from faith, making it a matter of favor. In that way the promise was guaranteed as valid to all the descendants— not just to those under the law but also to those with the faith of Abraham. And he is the ancestor of all of us,4:17as the Writings say: “I have appointed you the ancestor of many nations.” He believed this because it came from the God who makes the dead live again and calls into existence that which does not exist.4:18He who was long past hope confidently expected that he would become the ancestor of many nations, just as the promise was stated: “This is how your descendants will be.”4:19And his faith was not weak, even though he realized that his body, which was about a hundred years old, was as good as dead, as also was Sarah’s womb.4:20Yet Abraham’s faith in God never wavered; instead it was given new life, for which he exalted God.4:21He was fully assured that God was able to do what was promised.4:22That is the reason he was cleared of all charges.
4:23Now these words were not only written for his benefit4:24but also for ours. We who put our trust in the One who raised Jesus our Master from the dead will also have all charges against us dropped.4:25He was handed over because of our blunders and raised to justify us.