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Abraham, an Example of Justification by Faith

What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered according to the flesh? If indeed Abraham had been justified by works, he would have had a reason to boast—but not before God. For what does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[a]

Now to a person who works, his pay is not counted as a gift but as something owed. But to the person who does not work but believes in the God who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited to him as righteousness.

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Abraham Received What God Promised by Faith, Not by Law

13 Indeed, the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not given to Abraham or his descendants through the law, but through the righteousness that is by faith. 14 To be sure, if people are heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified. 15 For law brings wrath. (Where there is no law, there is no transgression.) 16 For this reason, the promise is by faith, so that it may be according to grace and may be guaranteed to all of Abraham’s descendants—not only to the one who is a descendant by law, but also to the one who has the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”[a]

Abraham’s Faith Was a Firm Trust in God’s Promise

In the presence of God, Abraham believed him who makes the dead alive and calls non-existing things so that they exist.[b]

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  1. Romans 4:17 Genesis 17:5
  2. Romans 4:17 Or speaks of non-existing things as though they exist