Romans 4

1So what shall we say about Abraham? He is the father of our family on earth. 2If Abraham was put right with God, because of what he did, he has something to be proud of. But he has nothing to be proud of when he stands before God. 3What do the holy writings say? It says, ‘Abraham believed God. And God said that he was a good man.’ 4When a person works, his pay is not a gift to him. His pay belongs to him. 5But no person can work to put himself right with God. It is God alone who makes a bad person right. The one who believes in him-even a bad person is put right. 6David also says that God blesses a man. God calls him a good man but not because he has kept the law. 7David said, ‘God blesses people who have been forgiven the wrong things they have done. God covers over the wrong things they have done. 8The Lord blesses people when he forgets the wrong things they have done.’

9Does God bless only people who have been circumcised? Or does he also bless those who are not? We say, because Abraham believed God, God called him a good man. His faith made him right with God. 10When did God say that? Was it when Abraham was circumcised? Or was it before? It was not when he was circumcised: it was before. 11Abraham was circumcised as a sign. It was a sign that he was a good man, because he believed when he was not yet circumcised. That makes him the father of all people who believe, even those who are not circumcised. God says they are good people. 12That makes him also the father of those who are circumcised. I mean people who are circumcised and do as our father Abraham did. Even when he was not circumcised, he believed. 13God promised Abraham and his family that the world would belong to them. God did not make the promise because Abraham obeyed the law. But he made the promise because Abraham believed him and was put right with God. 14If the world will belong to people who obey the law, it is of no use to believe God. And the promise is no good. 15Because of the law, God is angry. Where there is no law, no one breaks the law. 16That is why people must believe. Because God is kind, he makes the promise sure for all of Abraham’s children. The promise is for those who have the law and also for those who believe as Abraham did. He is the father of us all.

17the holy writings say, ‘I have made you the father of many nations.’ Abraham was made the father of many nations by God. He believed God. He believed that God could make dead people live. He believed God when he said that things were true even though they had not happened yet. 18Abraham believed and hoped, though there was nothing to give him hope. He believed that he would become the father of many nations. God had told him this would happen. 19He did not stop believing when he thought about his own body. It was almost dead. He was about one hundred years old. He did not stop believing when he thought about Sarah, even though she had never given birth to any children. 20He did not stop believing God’s promise. He believed God very much. He did not praise God for his own faith, but for God’s promise. 21He was sure that God was able to do what he had promised to do. 22He was put right with God because he believed the promise.

23The holy writings do not say that for Abraham only. 24They say it for us too. God will say we are put right if we believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from death. 25He was killed because we did wrong things. He was raised from death in order that we might be made right with God.

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