1 He proveth that which he said before of faith, by the example of Abraham, 3, 6 and the testimony of the Scripture: and ten times in the Chapter he beateth upon this word, Imputation.

What [a]shall we say then, that Abraham our father hath found concerning the [b]flesh?

[c]For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath wherein to rejoice, but not with God.

[d]For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.

[e]Now to him that [f]worketh, the wages is not [g]counted by favor, but by debt:

But to him that worketh not, but believeth in him that [h]justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

[i]Even as David declareth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying,

Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not sin.

[j]Came this [k]blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? For we say, that faith was imputed unto Abraham for righteousness.

10 [l]How was it then imputed? when he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? not when he was circumcised, but when he was uncircumcised.

11 [m]After, he received the [n]sign of circumcision, as the [o]seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had, when he was uncircumcised, [p]that he should be the father of all them that believe, not being circumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also.

12 [q]And the father of circumcision, not unto them only which are of the circumcision, but unto them also that walk in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had when he was uncircumcised.

13 [r]For the promise that he should be the [s]heir of the world, was not given to Abraham, or to his seed, through the [t]Law, but through the righteousness of faith.

14 [u]For if they which are of the [v]Law, be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of none effect.

15 [w]For the Law causeth wrath: for where no Law is, there is no transgression.

16 [x]Therefore it is by faith, that it might come by grace, and the promise might be sure to all the [y]seed, [z]not to that only which is of the Law: but also to that which is of the faith of Abraham who is the father of us all,

17 (As it is written, I have made thee a [aa]father of many nations) even before [ab]God whom he believed, who [ac]quickeneth the dead, and [ad]calleth those things which be not, as though they were.

18 [ae]Which Abraham above hope, believed under hope, that he should be the father of many nations: according to that which was spoken to him, So shall thy seed be.

19 And he [af]not weak in the faith, considered not his own body, which was now [ag]dead, being almost an hundred years old, neither the deadness of Sarah’s womb.

20 Neither did he doubt of the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in the faith, and gave [ah]glory to God,

21 Being [ai]fully assured that he which had promised, was also able to do it.

22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

23 [aj]Now is it not written for him only, that it was imputed to him for righteousness,

24 But also for us, to whom it shall be imputed for righteousness, which believe in him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,

25 Who was delivered to death for our [ak]sins, and is risen again for our justification.


  1. Romans 4:1 A new argument of great weight, taken from the example of Abraham the father of all believers: And this is the proposition: if Abraham be considered in himself by his works, he hath deserved nothing wherein to rejoice with God.
  2. Romans 4:1 By works, as appeareth in the next verse.
  3. Romans 4:2 A preventing of an objection: Abraham may well rejoice and extol himself amongst men, but not with God.
  4. Romans 4:3 A confirmation of the proposition: Abraham was justified by imputation of faith, therefore freely without any respect of his works.
  5. Romans 4:4 The first proof of the confirmation, taken of contraries: to him that deserveth anything by his labor, the wages is not counted by favor, but by debt: but to him that hath done nothing, but believeth in him which promiseth freely, faith is imputed.
  6. Romans 4:4 To him that hath deserved anything by his work.
  7. Romans 4:4 Is not reckoned nor given him.
  8. Romans 4:5 That maketh him which is wicked in himself, just in Christ.
  9. Romans 4:6 Another proof of the same confirmation: David putteth blessedness in free pardon of sins, therefore justification also.
  10. Romans 4:9 A new proposition: that this manner of justification belongeth both to uncircumcised, and also to the circumcised, as is declared in the person of Abraham.
  11. Romans 4:9 This saying of David, wherein he pronounceth them blessed.
  12. Romans 4:10 He proveth that it belongeth to the uncircumcised (for there was no doubt of the circumcised) in this sort: Abraham was justified in uncircumcision, therefore this justification belongeth also to the uncircumcised. Nay, it does not appertain to the circumcised in respect of the circumcision, much less are the uncircumcised shut out for their uncircumcision.
  13. Romans 4:11 A preventing of an objection: why then was Abraham circumcised, if he were already justified? That the gift of righteousness (saith he) might be confirmed in him.
  14. Romans 4:11 Circumcision, which is a sign: as we say, the Sacrament of Baptism, for Baptism which is a Sacrament.
  15. Romans 4:11 Circumcision was called before a sign, in respect of the outward ceremony: now Paul showeth the force and substance of that sign, that is, to what end it is used, to wit, not only to signify, but also to seal up the righteousness of faith, whereby we come to possess Christ himself: for the holy Ghost worketh that inwardly indeed, which the Sacraments being joined with the word, do represent.
  16. Romans 4:11 An applying of the example of Abraham to the uncircumcised believers, whose father also he maketh Abraham.
  17. Romans 4:12 An applying of the same example, to the circumcised believers, whose father Abraham is, but yet by faith.
  18. Romans 4:13 A reason why the seed of Abraham is to be esteemed by faith, because that Abraham himself through faith was made partaker of that promise, whereby he was made the father of all nations.
  19. Romans 4:13 That all the nations of the world should be his children: or by the world may be understood the land of Canaan.
  20. Romans 4:13 For works that he had done, or upon this condition that he should fulfill the Law.
  21. Romans 4:14 A double confirmation of that reason: the one is, that the promise cannot be apprehended by the Law, and therefore it should be frustrated: the other, that the condition of faith should be joined in vain to that promise which should be apprehended by works.
  22. Romans 4:14 If they be heirs which have fulfilled the Law.
  23. Romans 4:15 A reason of the first confirmation, why the promise cannot be apprehended by the Law: because that the Law doth not reconcile God and us, but rather denounceth his anger against us, forsomuch as no man can observe it.
  24. Romans 4:16 The conclusion of this argument. The salvation and justification of all the posterity of Abraham (that is, of the Church which is gathered together of all people) proceedeth of faith, which layeth hold on the promise made unto Abraham, and which promise Abraham himself first of all laid hold on.
  25. Romans 4:16 To all the believers.
  26. Romans 4:16 That is to say, not only of them which believe and are also circumcised according to the Law, but of them also which without circumcision, and in respect of faith only, are counted amongst the children of Abraham.
  27. Romans 4:17 This fatherhood is spiritual, depending only upon the virtue of God, who made the promise.
  28. Romans 4:17 Before God, that is, by a spiritual kindred, which had place before God, and maketh us acceptable to God.
  29. Romans 4:17 Who restored to life.
  30. Romans 4:17 With whom these things are already, which as yet are not in deed, as he that can with a word make what he will of nothing.
  31. Romans 4:18 A description of true faith, wholly resting in the power of God, and his good will, set forth in the example of Abraham.
  32. Romans 4:19 Very strong and constant.
  33. Romans 4:19 Void of strength, and unmeet to get children.
  34. Romans 4:20 Acknowledged and praised God, as most gracious and true.
  35. Romans 4:21 A description of true faith.
  36. Romans 4:23 The rule of justification is always one, both in Abraham and in all the faithful: that is to say, faith in God, who after that there was made a full satisfaction for our sins in Christ our mediator, raised him from the dead, that we also being justified, might be saved in him.
  37. Romans 4:25 To pay the ransom for our sins.