Rom 4:4–5

4:4, 5 It is a general principle that wages are earned by work, not received “as a gift.” But Gen. 15:6 makes no mention of works on Abraham’s part, only of the trust he had in God. Although faith was Abraham’s action, it contributed nothing to Abraham’s resultant righteousness before God, which was God’s own gift (v. 4). In this sense, while faith as the instrument of justification involves human activity, it is not a “work” of merit. The righteousness of God was “counted” to Abraham (vv. 3, 9) and not earned by him. See “Faith and Works” at James 2:24.