What shall we say, then, of Abraham, the father of our race? What was his experience?
If he was put right with God by the things he did, he would have something to boast about - but not in God's sight.
The scripture says, "Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous." 1
A person who works is paid wages, but they are not regarded as a gift; they are something that has been earned.
But those who depend on faith, not on deeds, and who believe in the God who declares the guilty to be innocent, it is this faith that God takes into account in order to put them right with himself.
This is what David meant when he spoke of the happiness of the person whom God accepts as righteous, apart from anything that person does:
"Happy are those whose wrongs are forgiven, 2 whose sins are pardoned!
Happy is the person whose sins the Lord will not keep account of!"