Romans 4 Expanded Bible (EXB)
The Example of Abraham
4 So what can we say that Abraham, ·the father of our people [L our forefather according to the flesh; Gen. 12—25], ·learned about faith [discovered in this regard; L has found]? 2 If Abraham was ·made right [justified; declared righteous] by ·the things he did [L the works of the law], he had a reason to ·brag [boast]. ·But this is not God’s view [or …but he could not boast before God], 3 because the Scripture says, “Abraham believed God, and ·God accepted Abraham’s faith, and that faith made him right with God [L it was credited/counted to him for righteousness; Gen. 15:6].”
4 When people work, their ·pay [wage] is not ·given [credited; counted] as ·a gift [grace], but as something ·earned [due to them]. 5 ·But people cannot do any work that will make them right with God. So they must trust in him [L But for the one who does not work, but trusts in God], who ·makes even evil people right in his sight [justifies/makes righteous the ungodly]. Then God ·accepts their faith, and that makes them right with him [L credits/counts their faith for righteousness]. 6 David said the same thing. He said that people are ·truly blessed [happy; spiritually fulfilled] when God, ·without paying attention to their deeds [apart from works], ·makes people right with himself [L credits/counts righteousness to them].
7 “·Blessed [Happy; Spiritually fulfilled] are they
9 Is this ·blessing [happiness; spiritual fulfillment] only for those who are circumcised or also for those who are not circumcised? We have already said that ·God accepted Abraham’s faith and that faith made him right with God [L faith was credited/counted to Abraham for righteousness; v. 3]. 10 So how did this happen? Did God accept Abraham before or after he was circumcised? It was not after, but before his circumcision. 11 Abraham ·was circumcised [L received the sign of circumcision; Gen. 17:9–14] ·to show that he was right with God [L as a seal/guarantee of the righteousness he had] through faith before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the father of all those who believe but are not circumcised, so that ·they too may be accepted as being right with God [righteousness may be credited/counted to them also]. 12 And Abraham is also the father of those who have been circumcised and who ·live following [L walk in the footsteps of] the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
God Keeps His Promise
13 [L For] The promise Abraham and his ·descendants [seed] received that they would inherit the ·whole world [L world] ·did not come through [was not based on his obedience to] the law, but through ·being right with God by his faith [the righteousness that comes by faith]. 14 [L For] If people ·could receive what God promised [L are heirs] by following the law, then faith is worthless. And ·God’s promise to Abraham [L the promise] is ·worthless [nullified; canceled], 15 because the law can only bring God’s ·anger [wrath]. But if there is no law, there is ·nothing to disobey [no transgression/violation; C the law points out sin (5:13), but it cannot save from sin].
16 So people receive God’s promise by having faith. This happens so the promise can be ·a free gift [by grace]. Then all of Abraham’s ·children [descendants; offspring; L seed] can ·have [be guaranteed; be certain to have] that promise. It is not only for those who live under the law of Moses but for anyone who lives with faith like that of Abraham, who is the father of us all. 17 As it is written in the Scriptures: “I ·am making [L have made] you a father of many nations [Gen. 17:5].” This is true ·before [in the presence of] God, the God Abraham believed, the God who gives life to the dead and who ·creates something out of nothing [L calls things that did not exist into existence].
18 ·Though there was no hope that Abraham would have children [or When all seemed hopeless; L Against hope…], Abraham believed God and continued hoping, and so he became the father of many nations [Gen. 17:5]. As God told him, “·Your descendants also will be too many to count [L So shall your seed/offspring be; Gen. 15:5].” 19 Abraham was almost a hundred years old, ·much past the age for having children [L his own body (as good as) dead], and ·Sarah could not have children [L Sarah’s womb was dead]. Abraham ·thought about all [considered; or acknowledged] this, but his faith in God did not become weak. 20 He never ·doubted or stopped believing [or wavered through unbelief] that God would keep his promise. He grew stronger in his faith and gave ·praise [glory] to God. 21 Abraham ·felt sure [was fully convinced] that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 So, “·God accepted Abraham’s faith, and that faith made him right with God [L it was credited/counted to him for righteousness; Gen. 15:6].” 23 Those words (“·God accepted Abraham’s faith [L it was credited/counted to him]”) were written not only for Abraham 24 but also for us. ·God will accept us also [L …to whom it will be credited/counted] because we believe in the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 Jesus was ·given to die [handed/delivered over; 8:32] ·for [because of] our ·sins [violations; transgressions], and he was raised from the dead ·to make us right with God [for our justification; or to confirm our justification].
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