Romans 4:5

5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.

Romans 4:5 in Other Translations

KJV
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
ESV
5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,
NLT
5 But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.
MSG
5 But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it's something only God can do, and you trust him to do it - you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked - well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift.
CSB
5 But to the one who does not work, but believes on Him who declares righteous the ungodly, his faith is credited for righteousness.

Romans 4:5 Meaning and Commentary

Romans 4:5

But to him that worketh not
Not that the believer does not work at all, but not from such principles, and with such views as the other; he does not work in order to obtain life and salvation; he does not seek for justification by his doings:

but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly:
or that ungodly one: particular reference is had to Abraham, who in his state of unregeneracy was an ungodly person; as all God's elect are in a state of nature, and are such when God justifies them, being without a righteousness of their own; wherefore he imputes the righteousness of another, even that of his own Son, unto them: and though he justifies the ungodly, he does not justify their ungodliness, but them from it; nor will he, nor does he leave them to live and die in it; now to him that worketh not, that is perfect righteousness; or has no opportunity of working at all; or what he does, he does not do, that he might be justified by it; but exercises faith on God as justifying persons, who, like himself, are sinners, ungodly and destitute of a righteousness:

his faith is counted for righteousness;
not the act, but the object of it; which was Abraham's case, and therefore was not justified by works. The Vulgate Latin version here adds, "according to the purpose of the grace of God".

Romans 4:5 In-Context

3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation.
5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

Cross References 1

  • 1. ver 3,9,22; S Romans 9:30