Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER IV. - Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Romans
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CHAPTER IV. - John Calvin, Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Romans 
Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Romans, trans. from the original Latin by the Rev. John Owen (Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1849).
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1What shall we then say, that Abraham, our father according2 to the flesh, had obtained? For if Abraham was by works justified, he has what he may glory in, but not before God.3 But what saith the Scripture? “Abraham believed God, and4 it was imputed to him for righteousness.” To him indeed who works the reward is not imputed as a grace, but as a debt:5 but to him who works not, but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, imputed is his faith for righteousness.
6As David also describes the blessedness of the man, to7 whom God imputes righteousness without works, “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are8 covered; blessed is the man to whom God has not imputed sin.”
9Was then this blessedness on the circumcision only, or also on the uncircumcision? for we say, that imputed to Abraham10 was faith for righteousness: how then was it imputed? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? not in circumcision,11 but in uncircumcision; and he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had in uncircumcision, that he might be the father of all who believe while in uncircumcision, in order that to them also12 righteousness might be imputed,—and the father of the circumcision, not to those who are in circumcision only, but who walk in the footsteps of that faith which our father Abraham had in uncircumcision.
13It was not indeed by the law that the promise was to Abraham and to his seed, that he should be the heir of the world,14 but through the righteousness of faith. For if they who are of the law are heirs, then made void is faith, and abolished15 is the promise. For the law causeth wrath: but where no law16 is, there is also no transgression. It is therefore by faith, that it might be through grace, in order that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the law, but17 which also is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (as it is written, “The father of many nations have I made thee,”) before God whom he believed, who quickens the dead,18 and calls things which are not, as though they were: Who against hope believed through hope, that he would be the father of many nations, according to what had been said, “So19 shall thy seed be.” And being not in faith weak, he considered not his own body, now dead, when he was nearly an20 hundred years old, nor the dead womb of Sarah; nor did he indeed search into the promise of God through unbelief, but21 was strengthened by faith, giving glory to God; and being assuredly persuaded, that what he had promised he was also22 able to perform: and it was therefore imputed to him for righteousness.
23Now it was not written on his account only, that it was imputed24 to him: but also on our account, to whom it shall be imputed, even to us who believe on him, who raised Jesus our25 Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences and raised for our justification.