Therefore, Paul's denial in this place that Abraham was justified by works must not be construed as meaning that Abraham was saved without any works whatever, because the holy scriptures affirm that such indeed was not the case. This verse, according to Phillips, the New English Bible, and the RSV, means essentially what the RSV has given, namely, "What shall we say then about Abraham our forefather according to the flesh?" — It is indeed the nature of every law to afford opportunity of transgression. Why the promise was made to him by faith; for three reasons. Therefore: Abraham's justification without performing a rite he had never heard of, is a false parallel to a Christian's alleged justification without baptism, a rite which he HAS heard of, and to which he is commanded to submit by none other than Christ himself. The law ... is here a reference to Moses' law; but, since that was the best ever given, it includes, by extension, every other kind of legal system. Even as David also pronounce the blessing upon the man, unto whom God reckoneth righteousness apart from works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, And whose sins are covered. It is not a reference to one who will not obey the gospel of Christ. It is the remission of a debt or a crime; it is the covering of sin, as a filthy thing, as the nakedness and shame of the soul. And this is the way He spoke of Abraham as the father of many nations. The simple and unrestricted language occurring in this passage, which all readers must understand as applying indifferently to every kind of work, must for ever conclude the whole of this dispute. As the reward, then, could not be bestowed through the works of the law, of which every man is a transgressor, and which, therefore, could only work wrath to him, it must be conferred by grace through faith, which can in nowise be considered as meritorious, but is the gift of God, and simply receives His righteousness, opposed through the whole of this discussion to the works of man of every description. It must imply a belief of the Gospel, not only as to the fact of a resurrection, but also as to the person and work of Christ. Mr. Stuart’s self-contradictions, contained in his Commentary, are noticed in the following term sin the American theological magazine, called The Biblical Repertory, of July 1833, where it is reviewed. Men are prone to magnify one part of the Divine counsel, by disparaging or denying another, which to their wisdom appears to stand in opposition to it. 1:17. For what saith the scripture? Major Prophets But through the righteousness of faith. It gives occasion to transgress, and transgression brings wrath. God said, "Now I know"; and this is fully equivalent to saying, "Before this, I did not know"! The word "when" in Romans 4:10 is the pivot upon which the whole argument was based. What a sorrow must have swept over Abraham's heart as he turned his back for the last time upon the battlements of Ur! The type of justification he received upon that basis is exactly the kind received by Christians, which is the status of having a covenant relationship with God. Now what did he get by these? Abraham, however, being the father or first heir according to that promise, he might properly, by way of distinction, be called ‘the heir,’ and on the same ground, the father of many nations, being the father of all God’s people; as is likewise promised in the covenant, which is so often referred to in this chapter. — If the expression, ‘to him that worketh not,’ needed any explanation, this term — the ungodly — would place its meaning beyond all doubt. No one, then, is entitled to consider himself among the number of those to whom the Apostle’s words are here applicable, unless he has obtained precious faith in the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. And in Abraham we see that, in the first declaration of the nature of justification, it is held out as being conferred by the imputation of righteousness through faith only. Abraham had no ground of boasting before God, not having been justified either by the observance of the rite of circumcision, or by any other work of obedience which he had performed; and this Paul fully proves in the sequel. The proper object of this believing is a divine revelation. ‘If there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law; but the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.’ It was therefore to receive its accomplishment only by virtue of, and through the communication of, the righteousness received by faith. Wisdom Literature To fail to believe, to exclude either faith, or the work of faith, is to fail of justification. 89-90. Thou becamest what Thou wert not in order that I was not myself.’.