1 How then can we assert, "that Abraham our father obtained this from circumcision?" 2 for if Abraham was justified by works, he had matter of pretension, whereas he had no such claim from God. 3 for what saith the scripture? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness."
4 the reward is not counted as a favour to him that has done good actions, but as a debt: 5 whereas he that trusts in God to be made righteous, tho' he has not done such actions, shall find his faith accounted as righteousness.
6 even as David also speaks of the happiness of the man whom God accounted righteous independently of his works,
7 " happy are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 happy is the man to whom the Lord will not account sin."
9 Is this happiness then for the circumcised only, or for the uncircumcised also? for we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. 10 how was it then accounted? whilst he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? he was not then circumcised, but uncircumcised: 11 and he received the sign of circumcision, as a seal of the justification by that faith, which the uncircumcised have: that he might be the father of all those who believe, tho' they are uncircumcised, that it might be accounted to them also for righteousness: 12 and the father of the circumcised, that is of those who are not barely circumcised, but who imitate that faith which our father Abraham had, being yet uncircumcised.
13 Besides, the promise that he should possess the world, was not made to Abraham, or to his posterity in consideration of the law, but with regard to the righteousness by faith. 14 for if they only who are of the law have right of possession, faith is made useless, and the promise becomes of no effect. 15 because the effect of the law is punishment: for if there had been no law, there could have been no transgression.
16 therefore the inheritance is of faith, that it might be meerly of favour, to the end the promise might be assured to all his posterity, not to that part only who have the law, but to that also who have the faith of Abraham, the father of us all, as it is written, 17 " I have made thee a father of many nations," then existing in the sight of God, whom he believed, who gives life to the dead, and calls forth things that are not, as if they were: 18 he it was who against hope believed in hope, that he should become the father of many nations, according to what was told him, "so shall thy posterity be:" 19 far from being weak in faith, unconcern'd at his own bodily decay, being then about an hundred years old, and at Sarah's incapacity of child-bearing, 20 he was not incredulously diffident of the divine promise; but was strong in faith, and did honour to God, 21 by the full persuasion he had, that what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 and therefore it was accounted to him for righteousness. 23 now this saying, "that it was accounted to him," was not written for his sake alone, 24 but for us also, to whom it shall be accounted, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.