Romans 4:1–12 (ESV)
Abraham Justified by Faith
4 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast
about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted
as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing
of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered;
is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
9 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also
for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He
received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well,
12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
Abraham’s circumcision did not save him; it was a response to his salvation. We are constantly tempted to give our works a role in salvation, but this detracts from God’s work. Christ saves us apart from our works, so anything
we do responds to what He has already done for us.
I pray: Gracious God, grant us hearts that trust like Abraham, who trusted in You alone. Thank You for declaring us
righteous. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1916.