Paul discusses Abraham in Romans 4 and declares when and why God found him righteous. Surprisingly, although Abraham was the forefather of the Jews and was the first Hebrew to be circumcised (Genesis 17:9-26), it was not obeying the command to become circumcised that made him righteous in God’s eyes. Rather, he was declared righteous because of his faith in the promises of God. “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to

him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3). The first promise that God made to Abraham was that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars–even though he didn’t have any children yet (Genesis 15:4-6). And Abraham believed this. The second promise that God made to Abraham was that his barren wife, Sarah, would bear a son, and that nations would come from that son (Genesis 17:15-22). Again Abraham believed God. Both these promises were given before Abraham was circumcised.

This took great faith. Abraham, “contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be’. . . .He did not waver at the promise of God” through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God” (Romans 4:18,20). Then Paul brings out his final point: since Abraham was considered righteous while he was still uncircumcised, he is the father of both the circumcised Jews and the uncircumcised Gentiles. All men are made righteous by putting their faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.



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