1What shall we say, then, of Abraham, the father of our race? What was his experience? 2If he was put right with God by the things he did, he would have something to boast about — but not in God's sight. 3The scripture says, “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.” 4Those who work are paid wages, but they are not regarded as a gift; they are something that has been earned. 5But those who depend on faith, not on deeds, and who believe in the God who declares the guilty to be innocent, it is this faith that God takes into account in order to put them right with himself. 6This is what David meant when he spoke of the happiness of the person whom God accepts as righteous, apart from anything that person does:
7“Happy are those whose wrongs are forgiven,
whose sins are pardoned!
8Happy is the person whose sins the Lord will not keep account of!”
9Does this happiness that David spoke of belong only to those who are circumcised? No indeed! It belongs also to those who are not circumcised. For we have quoted the scripture, “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.” 10When did this take place? Was it before or after Abraham was circumcised? It was before, not after. 11He was circumcised later, and his circumcision was a sign to show that because of his faith God had accepted him as righteous before he had been circumcised. And so Abraham is the spiritual father of all who believe in God and are accepted as righteous by him, even though they are not circumcised. 12He is also the father of those who are circumcised, that is, of those who, in addition to being circumcised, also live the same life of faith that our father Abraham lived before he was circumcised.
God's Promise is Received through Faith
13When God promised Abraham and his descendants that the world would belong to him, he did so, not because Abraham obeyed the Law, but because he believed and was accepted as righteous by God. 14For if what God promises is to be given to those who obey the Law, then faith means nothing and God's promise is worthless. 15The Law brings down God's anger; but where there is no law, there is no disobeying of the law.
16And so the promise was based on faith, in order that the promise should be guaranteed as God's free gift to all of Abraham's descendants — not just to those who obey the Law, but also to those who believe as Abraham did. For Abraham is the spiritual father of us all; 17as the scripture says, “I have made you father of many nations.” So the promise is good in the sight of God, in whom Abraham believed — the God who brings the dead to life and whose command brings into being what did not exist. 18Abraham believed and hoped, even when there was no reason for hoping, and so became “the father of many nations.” Just as the scripture says, “Your descendants will be as many as the stars.” 19He was then almost 100 years old; but his faith did not weaken when he thought of his body, which was already practically dead, or of the fact that Sarah could not have children. 20His faith did not leave him, and he did not doubt God's promise; his faith filled him with power, and he gave praise to God. 21He was absolutely sure that God would be able to do what he had promised. 22That is why Abraham, through faith, “was accepted as righteous by God”. 23The words “he was accepted as righteous” were not written for him alone. 24They were written also for us who are to be accepted as righteous, who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from death. 25Because of our sins he was handed over to die, and he was raised to life in order to put us right with God.
1Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2He has brought us by faith into this experience of God's grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God's glory! 3We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, 4endurance brings God's approval, and his approval creates hope. 5This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God's gift to us.
6For when we were still helpless, Christ died for the wicked at the time that God chose. 7It is a difficult thing for someone to die for a righteous person. It may even be that someone might dare to die for a good person. 8But God has shown us how much he loves us — it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us! 9By his blood we are now put right with God; how much more, then, will we be saved by him from God's anger! 10We were God's enemies, but he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Now that we are God's friends, how much more will we be saved by Christ's life! 11But that is not all; we rejoice because of what God has done through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has now made us God's friends.
Adam and Christ
12Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned. 13There was sin in the world before the Law was given; but where there is no law, no account is kept of sins. 14But from the time of Adam to the time of Moses death ruled over the whole human race, even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam did when he disobeyed God's command.
Adam was a figure of the one who was to come. 15But the two are not the same, because God's free gift is not like Adam's sin. It is true that many people died because of the sin of that one man. But God's grace is much greater, and so is his free gift to so many people through the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ. 16And there is a difference between God's gift and the sin of one man. After the one sin, came the judgement of “Guilty”; but after so many sins, comes the undeserved gift of “Not guilty!” 17It is true that through the sin of one man death began to rule because of that one man. But how much greater is the result of what was done by the one man, Jesus Christ! All who receive God's abundant grace and are freely put right with him will rule in life through Christ.
18So then, as the one sin condemned all people, in the same way the one righteous act sets all people free and gives them life. 19And just as the mass of people were made sinners as the result of the disobedience of one man, in the same way the mass of people will all be put right with God as the result of the obedience of the one man.
20Law was introduced in order to increase wrongdoing; but where sin increased, God's grace increased much more. 21So then, just as sin ruled by means of death, so also God's grace rules by means of righteousness, leading us to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.