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God’s Promise Received Through Faith

13 Abraham and his descendants received the promise that they would get the whole world. But Abraham did not receive that promise because he followed the law. He received that promise because he was right with God through his faith. 14 If people could get God’s promise by following the law, then faith is worthless. And God’s promise to Abraham is worthless, 15 because the law can only bring God’s anger on those who disobey it. But if there is no law, then there is nothing to disobey.

16 So people get what God promised by having faith. This happens so that the promise can be a free gift. And if the promise is a free gift, then all of Abraham’s people will get that promise. The promise is not just for those who live under the Law of Moses. It is for all who live with faith as Abraham did. He is the father of us all. 17 As the Scriptures say, “I have made you a father of many nations.”[a] This is true before God, the one Abraham believed—the God who gives life to the dead and speaks of things that don’t yet exist as if they are real.

18 There was no hope that Abraham would have children, but Abraham believed God and continued to hope. And that is why he became the father of many nations. As God told him, “You will have many descendants.”[b] 19 Abraham was almost a hundred years old, so he was past the age for having children. Also, Sarah could not have children. Abraham was well aware of this, but his faith in God never became weak. 20 He never doubted that God would do what he promised. He never stopped believing. In fact, he grew stronger in his faith and just praised God. 21 Abraham felt sure that God was able to do what he promised. 22 So that’s why “he was accepted as one who is right with God.”[c] 23 These words (“he was accepted”) were written not only for Abraham. 24 They were also written for us. God will also accept us because we believe. We believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from death. 25 Jesus was handed over to die for our sins, and he was raised from death to make us right with God.

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Footnotes

  1. Romans 4:17 Quote from Gen. 17:5.
  2. Romans 4:18 Quote from Gen. 15:5.
  3. Romans 4:22 Quote from Gen. 15:6.

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