1. Then what do we say about Abraham, the ancestor from whom we are descended physically?
2. If Abraham had been justified because of what he had done, then he would have had something to boast about. But not before God:
3. does not scripture say: Abraham put his faith in God and this was reckoned to him as uprightness?
4. Now, when someone works, the wages for this are not considered as a favour but as due;
5. however, when someone, without working, puts faith in the one who justifies the godless, it is this faith that is reckoned as uprightness.
6. David, too, says the same: he calls someone blessed if God attributes uprightness to that person, apart from any action undertaken:
7. How blessed are those whose offence is forgiven, whose sin is blotted out.
8. How blessed are those to whom the Lord imputes no guilt.
9. Is this blessing only for the circumcised, or is it said of the uncircumcised as well? Well, we said of Abraham that his faith was reckoned to him as uprightness.
10. Now how did this come about? When he was already circumcised, or before he had been circumcised? Not when he had been circumcised, but while he was still uncircumcised;
11. and circumcision was given to him later, as a sign and a guarantee that the faith which he had while still uncircumcised was reckoned to him as uprightness. In this way, Abraham was to be the ancestor of all believers who are uncircumcised, so that they might be reckoned as upright;
12. as well as the ancestor of those of the circumcision who not only have their circumcision but who also follow our ancestor Abraham along the path of faith that he trod before he was circumcised.
13. For the promise to Abraham and his descendants that he should inherit the world was not through the Law, but through the uprightness of faith.
14. For if it is those who live by the Law who will gain the inheritance, faith is worthless and the promise is without force;
15. for the Law produces nothing but God's retribution, and it is only where there is no Law that it is possible to live without breaking the Law.
16. That is why the promise is to faith, so that it comes as a free gift and is secure for all the descendants, not only those who rely on the Law but all those others who rely on the faith of Abraham, the ancestor of us all
17. (as scripture says: I have made you the father of many nations). Abraham is our father in the eyes of God, in whom he put his faith, and who brings the dead to life and calls into existence what does not yet exist.
18. Though there seemed no hope, he hoped and believed that he was to become father of many nations in fulfilment of the promise: Just so will your descendants be.
19. Even the thought that his body was as good as dead -- he was about a hundred years old -- and that Sarah's womb was dead too did not shake his faith.
20. Counting on the promise of God, he did not doubt or disbelieve, but drew strength from faith and gave glory to God,
21. fully convinced that whatever God promised he has the power to perform.
22. This is the faith that was reckoned to him as uprightness.
23. And the word 'reckoned' in scripture applies not only to him;
24. it is there for our sake too -- our faith, too, will be 'reckoned'
25. because we believe in him who raised from the dead our Lord Jesus who was handed over to death for our sins and raised to life for our justification.