“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.”

         “He staggered not…through unbelief”
         Literally: {He} did not hesitate by unbelief.”–Abraham  firmly believed the promise of God.    Faith goes beyond human capability. 

It acknowledges the existence of One Who is not bound by the limitations of the created order.  “Conscious of hjs own utter impotence, Abraham relied simply and completely on the all-sufficient power of God.

       STAGGERED:  (Grk.–diakrinō)–Meaning: “to vacillate between two opinions or decisions.” Better rendered as “hesitated,” or “wavered.”  This word    implies a mental struggle.  Abraham did not vacillate between belief and unbelief with respect to his difficulty  and the ability  of God to do what He said He would do.

                “And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting (diakrinō)…”  (Acts (11:21).

                “But ask him ask in faith, nothing wavering (diakrinō). For he that wavereth  (diakrinō) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”              (James 1:6).

Abraham did not hesitate. He accepted the promise with unfaltering faith. He did not let his advanced age, or that of his wife, prevent him from believing that they should have a son and receive the blessings which God had promised.

         “but was strong in faith,”
         Literally:  “but was empowered by faith”–Nothing moved him, no difficulties discouraged him.

          WAS STRONG:  (Grk.–enedunamaō)–Literally: “was strengthened,” or endued with strength; waxed strongly.”  This strength was is qualified by the words, “in faith.”

“giving glory to God”–Giving honor to God by the firmness with which he believed His promises. Abraham’s conduct was such as to honor God; that is, to show Abraham's conviction that God was worthy of implicit confidence and trust.

In this way all who believe in the promises of God do honor to Him. They bear testimony to Him that He is worthy of confidence. They become so many witnesses in His favor; and furnish to their fellow-men evidence that God has a claim on the credence and trust of mankind.  We should never doubt the truth of what God has declared, on account of any difficulties in the way of its fulfilment; but should expect its fulfilment as certainly as if there were no obstacles in its way.

VERSE  21:
“And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform.”

         “And being fully persuaded”–His soul was full of confidence, that the truth of God bound Him to fulfil His promise and His power enabled Him to do it.
         The glory which Abraham's faith gave to God consisted in that firm in the persuasion of God's ability to fulfil his promise, no difficulties shook him.

         FULLY PERSUADED:  (Grk.–plêrophorêtheis)–Better rendered as, “fully assured."    See as, “most surely believed”  (Luke 1:1).  The primary idea is being filled with a thought or conviction.

“He was able”
Literally: “He is also able to do.”  Comp. Gen. 18:14. This was not the only time in which Abraham displayed this confidence. His faith was equally implicit and strong when he was commanded to sacrifice his promised son (Heb. 11:19).

        ABLE:  (Grk.–dunatos)–Meaning, “stronger; mighty.”

        “For He that is mighty (dunatos) hath done to me great things; and holy {is} His Name”  (Luke 1:49).
        “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, and eloquent man, {and mighty (dunatos) in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus” (Acts 18:24).         
       “For the weapons of our warfare {are} not carnal, but mighty (dunatos) through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (II Cor. 10:4).

“And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness”

         “And therefore”
         Literally:  “because of this. -Because this faith was so implicit, and so unwavering, it was a demonstration that he was the firm friend of God.

Abraham was tried, and he had such confidence in God that he showed that he was supremely attached to Him, and would obey and serve Him. This was reckoned as a full proof of friendship; and he was recognized and treated as righteous; i.e., as the friend of God.

         “it was imputed to him”
         Literally:  “It was reckoned to him.” As a result of his unwavering confidence in God righteousness was imputed  to him; reckoned to him.

          IMPUTED:   (Grk.–elogisthê)–Literally:  “charged to his account; kept record of; reckoned to be.”  Abraham's strong faith in the promise of the coming Savior, for this was essential to his   faith, was reckoned to him for justification

         “for righteousness”–Note that this was not because of anything meritorious in Abraham, but merely because he believed.

Abraham was fully persuaded of the most merciful intentions of God's goodness; and this, in effect, laid hold on Jesus Christ, the future Savior, was the means of his justification; being reckoned unto him in the place of personal righteousness, because it laid hold on the merit of Him   who died to make an atonement for our offences, and rose again for our justification.

                 RIGHTEOUSNESS:  (Grk.–dikaiosunê)-Literally:  “righteous; what God requires; justice; uprightness.”


“Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him”

“Now it was not written”
Literally:  “But it was not written.”  The record of this extraordinary faith was not made on        Abraham’s account only; but it was made to show the way in which men may be regarded and treated as righteous by God. If Abraham was so regarded and treated, then, on the same principle, all others may be. God has but one mode of justifying men–by faith!!!       

         “for his sake alone”
         Literally:  “For him only.”–To do personal honor to him. 

         What is written in the Scriptures was written for the instruction of men, not only of that age but of all ages. These word were given by inspiration, and are all profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (see II Timothy 3:16-17).
         Here is the application of this whole argument about Abraham: These things were not recorded as mere historical facts, but as illustrations for all time of God's method of justification by faith. The fact of Abraham's believing and receiving
salvation through that faith is not recorded as a mere circumstance in the patriarch's life, intended to do him honor.

“that it was imputed to him”
Literally:  “That it is reckoned to him.”–He was regarded and treated as the friend of God.  But in order that we might have an example of God's
Plan of Justification. 

        THAT:  (Grk.–hoti)–“Because, for, since.” 

         That his faith was imputed to him for righteousness. What is written in the Scriptures was written for the instruction of men, not only of that age but of all ages. They are given by inspiration, and therefore be studied by all who have them; and should be sent to all the destitute, that they may be led to believe on Christ, and thus obtain eternal life.

“But for us also, in whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead”

“But for us also”
Literally:  “but also on account of us”–This was written to show us that if we believe our faith shall also save us. Because we were to be likewise dealt with, and therefore needed to know it.

For our use, that we might have an example of the way in which men may be accepted of God. It is recorded for our encouragement and imitation, to show that we may in a similar manner be accepted and saved.

        “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our leaning, that we though patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4).
        “Now all things happen unto them for ensamples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (I Cor. 10:11).

         The mention of this circumstance has a much more extensive design than merely to honor Abraham. It is recorded as the model, according to which God will save both Jews and Gentiles: indeed there can be no other way of salvation; as all have sinned, all must either be saved by faith through Christ Jesus, or finally perish.  If God, therefore, wills our salvation, it must be by faith; and faith contemplates His promise, and his promise comprehends the Son of his love.
         To establish us in seeking Justification by Faith, and not by works; and to afford a full answer to those who say that, “to be justified by works means only, by Judaism; to be justified by faith means, by embracing Christianity, that is, the system of doctrines so called.”  Sure it is that Abraham could not in this sense be justified either by faith or by works; and equally sure that David (taking the words thus) was justified by works, and not by faith.

“it shall be imputed”
Literally:  “going to be reckoned.”– If we possess and display faith similar to that of Abraham, our faith shall be imputed to us for righteousness, as Abraham’s faith was to him.

          SHALL BE IMPUTED:  (Grk.–mellei logizesthai)–This Greek verb (mellei) shows that it will take place in the immediate future, that is, “soon to be,” or, “He is about to do it.” A better rendering of this phrase would read, “to whom it is to be imputed as righteousness.”

This account of Abraham was   transmitted to us to induce us, by exercising similar faith, to become his spiritual seed, and heirs to  the eternal blessings promised to him.  The object of the Christian’s faith is the same as that of Abraham’s:  that is, to God, who gives life to the dead.

“if we believe on Him”
Literally:  “To those believing on the {One}.”–That is, In Him Who has done this, even as Abraham believed that God would raise up a seed in whom all nations should be blessed.

God the Father is the proper object of justifying faith. It is observable, that Paul here, in speaking both of our faith and of Abraham’s faith, shows a part for the whole.

“Who raised up Jesus from the dead”
Literally:  “Who has raised our Lord Jesus from {the} dead. The same God who quickened Abraham's body, as good as dead, raised up our Lord.  Abraham showed his faith in God by believing just what God revealed to him.  This was his faith, and it might be as strong and implicit as could be exercised under the fullest revelation. 

         The Resurrection of Christ is the central theme of Paul’s gospel (I Cor. 15:4ff).  The main or leading truths that God had made known to us are, that He has given His Son to die; that He has raised Him up; and that through Him  (Jesus),  He  (God)  is ready to pardon.  To put confidence in these truths is to believe now. This is faith, under the gospel, showing that the faith of Abraham and of all true believers is substantially the same, and is varied only by the difference of the truths made known.  In the resurrection of Christ, we see omnipotence being displayed as redeeming power, and in this omnipotence we, like Abraham, believe.
            Faith is belief in God as He has revealed His will to us.  It is therefore the same in principle, though it may have reference to different objects.  It is confidence in the same God, according to what we know of His will. Abraham showed his faith mainly in confiding in the promises of God respecting a numerous prosperity.  This was the leading truth made know to him, and this he believed..

“Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”

         “Who was delivered”To death. 

         DELIVERED:  (Grk.–paradidōmi)–Literally meaning:  “to hand over” or “deliver up; deliver, entrust, give, hand down.”  This word is used of casting into prison, or delivering up to justice.  Here is speaks of the judicial act of God the Father delivering God the Son to the justice that required the payment of the penalty for human sin.

“ for our offences”
Literally:  “For the diviations of us.”  On account of our sins, our crimes against God.

He was delivered up to death in order to make penitence for our sins. Delivered up to death as a sacrifice for our sins; for in what other way, or for what other purpose could He, who is innocence itself, be delivered for our offences?   As an atonement for our sins. that is, in order to expiate them by His blood.

“And was raised again for our justification”
Literally: “And was raised for our justification.” He was raised that we might have the fullest   assurance that the death of Christ had accomplished the end for which it took place; meaning our reconciliation to God, and giving us a title to that eternal life, into which he has entered, and taken with him our human nature, as the first-fruits of the resurrection of mankind.

Paul does not mean to separate the resurrection from the death of Christ in the work of atonement, but simply to show that the resurrection is at one with the death on the Cross in proof of Christ's claims.

1.      From a careful examination of the Divine oracles it appears that the death of Christ was an atonement or expiation for the sin of the world: For Him has God set forth to be a PROPITIATION through FAITH in HIS BLOOD (3:25). of N.T. to set down all the texts that refer to this most important and glorious truth.
2.      And as His death was an atonement for our sins, so His resurrection was the proof and pledge of our own eternal life (see I Cor. 15:17; I Pet. 1:3; Eph. 1:13,14).
3.      The Doctrine of Justification by Faith is one of the supreme displays of the mercy of God to mankind.  It is so very plain that all may comprehend it; and so free that all may attain it.  As your life was forfeited to death because of your transgressions, Jesus Christ has redeemed your life by giving up His own; He died in your stead, and has made an atonement to God for your transgressions; and offers you the pardon He has thus purchased, on the simple condition, that you believe that His death is a sufficient sacrifice, ransom, for your sin; and that you bring it as such, by confident faith, to the throne of God, and plead it in your own behalf there. When you do so, your faith in that sacrifice shall be imputed to you for righteousness; i.e., it shall be the means of receiving that salvation which Christ has bought by His blood.

         Either the sinner must die, or someone in his stead: but there was none whose death could have been an equivalent for the transgressions of the world but JESUS CHRIST.  Jesus therefore died for man; and it is through His BLOOD, the merit of His passion and death, that we have redemption; and not by His obedience to the moral Law in our stead.  Our salvation was obtained at a much higher price. 
         Christ furnishes grace to every true believer to fulfil them to God's glory, the edification of His neighbor, and His own eternal profit.  The salvation which we receive from God's free mercy, through Christ, binds us to live in a strict conformity to the moral law; that law which prescribes our manners, and the spirit by which they should be regulated, and in which they should be performed.  He who does not live in the due performance of every Christian duty, whatever faith he may profess, is either a vile hypocrite, or a scandalous Antinomian.