So what are we going to say? Are we going to find that Abraham is our ancestor on the basis of genealogy?
Because if Abraham was made righteous because of his actions, he would have had a reason to brag, but not in front of God.
What does the scripture say? Abraham had faith in God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.a4
Workers' salaries aren't credited to them on the basis of an employer's grace but rather on the basis of what they deserve.
But faith is credited as righteousness to those who don't work, because they have faith in God who makes the ungodly righteous.
In the same way, David also pronounces a blessing on the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from actions:
7Happy are those whose actions outside the Law are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8Happy are those whose sin isn't counted against them by the Lord.b9
Is this state of happiness only for the circumcised or is it also for those who aren't circumcised? We say, "Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness."
So how was it credited? When he was circumcised, or when he wasn't circumcised? In fact, it was credited while he still wasn't circumcised, not after he was circumcised.
He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that comes from the faith he had while he still wasn't circumcised. It happened this way so that Abraham could be the ancestor of all those people who aren't circumcised, who have faith in God, and so are counted as righteous.
He could also be the ancestor of those circumcised people, who aren't only circumcised but who also walk in the path of faith, like our ancestor Abraham did while he wasn't circumcised.