1 So what shall we say about Abraham? He is the father of our family on earth.
2 If 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.
3 What do the holy writings say? It says, Abraham believed God. And God said that he was a good man.
4 When a person works, his pay is not a gift to him. His pay belongs to him.
5 But 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.
6 David also says that God blesses a man. God calls him a good man but not because he has kept the law.
7 David said, God blesses people who have been forgiven the wrong things they have done. God covers over the wrong things they have done.
8 The Lord blesses people when he forgets the wrong things they have done.
9 Does 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.
10 When did God say that? Was it when Abraham was circumcised? Or was it before? It was not when he was circumcised: it was before.
11 Abraham 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.
12 That 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.
13 God 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.
14 If the world will belong to people who obey the law, it is of no use to believe God. And the promise is no good.
15 Because of the law, God is angry. Where there is no law, no one breaks the law.
16 That is why people must believe. Because God is kind, he makes the promise sure for all of Abrahams 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.
17 the 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.
18 Abraham 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.
19 He 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.
20 He did not stop believing Gods promise. He believed God very much. He did not praise God for his own faith, but for Gods promise.
21 He was sure that God was able to do what he had promised to do.
22 He was put right with God because he believed the promise.
23 The holy writings do not say that for Abraham only.
24 They say it for us too. God will say we are put right if we believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from death.
25 He was killed because we did wrong things. He was raised from death in order that we might be made right with God.