Romans 4:1-14 …. I need a frame of reference and here it is
4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed (trusted and obeyed…or.. believed then acted upon it) God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Genesis 15:6 “And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”
Genesis 26:5 “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
James 2:14-18 “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
4 Now, to him that worketh, is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. (This is a conscience decision of effort prior to the demarcation of salvation.)
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (This is the ‘faith first’ to define salvation)
6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, (David explains salvation by grace through faith prior to Yeshua)
7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities (deeds that break Torah) are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute (to take an inventory) sin.
9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. (This specifically points to the fact that Abraham was considered righteous before he had circumcised himself.)
10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. (Paul is speaking of Abraham’s outwardly appearance compared to his actual heart condition)
Have you stopped to consider Abraham was not a Jew or an Israelite, he was a descendant of Adam, and was called by God to be His servant and was considered righteous, by faith through grace from God BEFORE Jesus Christ and the New Testament?
Genesis 11:31 “Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there.”
From the beginning of time God planned salvation for “Gentiles” (which means Goyim or Nations in Hebrew ) and that the “Israelites” (a mixed multitude), were actually established through this man named Abram.
11 And 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:
Salvation comes when the heart attaches its belief in YHWH, and His ability to forgive sins. A direct result of our gratitude for our pardon, we should display that gratitude, in the action of baptism, or circumcision, or feasts, or Torah observance as the Father leads us. These are all outwards signs of an inward change.
12 And 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. (Salvation and righteousness and grace are open to all manner of mankind.)
13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law (Torah), but through the righteousness of faith.
Abraham obviously lived many years before Moses and thus the Torah had not been established in the same physical manner for Abraham as it was for Paul and the believers. From Adam to Moses the Torah was a divinely revealed and personally communicated set of instructions. All from Adam to Moses performed sacrifices for their transgressions, as well as, following food instructions and so on.
14 For if they which are of the law be heirs (if it were and automatic inheritance), faith is made void (it would be expected and we would not have to rely upon YHWH), and the promise made of none effect:
15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law (Torah) is, there is no transgression.
If the Torah didn’t exist there would be no need for a savior, likewise, if the life of Yeshua put an end to the Torah then there would be no sin at all in the world, because there would be no standard in which to measure the actions of men.
1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”