9Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 10How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; 11and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them, 12and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.
13For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14For if those who are of the Law are heirs, then faith is made void and the promise is nullified; 15for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.
16For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
9Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. 13For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. 16Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
Was Abraham, a prominent figure in the Old Testament, justified by works? Paul says no; he was justified by faith alone. Just as a teacher lectures and then makes time for possible questions, Paul presents his case on the true gospel and a message on salvation and then answers potential questions that might arise. The Jews may have suggested that since Abraham was not justified by works, it was because he was circumcised. Paul again says no. Abraham was the father to all, both circumcised and uncircumcised, because Scripture shows that he was justified before he was circumcised. In the sermon “Faith Alone” on Romans 4:9–16, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows that Paul warns against those who merely held to their own circumcision as a means of salvation. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains how the Jews had not properly understood why the Lord gave them the sign of circumcision and how Paul refutes their wrong beliefs. When Abraham was credited as righteous, it is the first time in Scripture that salvation by faith alone was defined. The Lord promised that because of Abraham’s faithfulness, his seed would produce the Son of God.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.