4:9–12 Paul now addresses a further criticism of his argument. Even if he has shown that righteousness comes by grace through faith in the case of Abraham, has he forgotten that Abraham was the father of the circumcised (and therefore not of the uncircumcised)? The apostle provides a devastating answer: Gen. 15:6 describes Abraham before he was circumcised (v. 10). The righteousness signified and sealed for him by circumcision had already been credited to him when he was still uncircumcised. He serves as the prototype for all believers, both Jew and Gentile. For the Jew, he serves as prototype because his circumcision pointed back to his justification; for the Gentile, because he received justification apart from circumcision.
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