Abraham’s Faith

What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
Romans 4:1-8
Abraham’s Faith
The question is often asked about the salvation of those people who lived before Jesus Christ’s incarnation. How could they be saved? Was it their obedience to the Law, or some merit on their part that earned them salvation? Blessedly, St. Paul gives us the answer in these verses. He points us away from our works and towards the work of the Holy Spirit in giving us faith. He points out that 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. So those born before Jesus’s incarnation are saved through faith, just as we are today. And this faith has always been and always will be a free gift from our loving heavenly Father. May He grant us hearts that trust like Abraham, who trusted in Him alone. May we continuously give Him thanks for declaring us righteous. In Jesus’ name.
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