ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE ROMANS 4:4-12
Brethren, to one who works, his wages are not reckoned as a gift but as his due.
And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.
So also David pronounces a blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not reckon his sin.”
Is this blessing pronounced only upon the circumcised, or also upon the uncircumcised?
We say that faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness.
How then was it reckoned to him?
Was it before or after he had been circumcised?
It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received circumcision as a sign or seal of the righteousness which he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.
The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them, and likewise the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but also follow the example of the faith which our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
The Lord said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
You will know them by their fruits.
Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?
So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit.
A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Thus you will know them by their fruits.
Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord, ‘ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.