16 Therefore 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, 17 ¶ (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 ¶ Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Here is Paul's contextual definition of faith as it relates to "justification by faith." There are three divisions provided here: 1. Descriptives of faith - vv. 16-17 2. Illustrated in a specific example in Abraham's life - vv. 18-21 3. Direct application to us - vv. 22-23 A. Descriptives - vv. 16-17 a. Justification is "of Faith" rather than "of law" (see verse 13-15) that it might be "by grace" in contrast to "of works" (vv. 1-15) just as "grace" is contrasted to "works" in Romans 4:4. b. It is "by grace" so that justification will be "SURE TO ALL" the promised seed. c. It is "sure" because God promised it and it is based purely upon God's ability - v. 17 as illustrated in a specific example in Abraham's life - vv. 18-21. B. Illustrated faith - vv. 18-22 a. The SUREness of justification by faith to ALL the seed is illustrated in the promise of God for the very first of Abraham's seed - Isaac. b. Abraham and Sarah had already attempted to assist, participate in, contribute to making God's promise a realization in their life and FAILED. c. God intentionally waited until they could not assist, participate, contribute anything ("dead.....deadness") EXCEPT rest upon God's POWER to perform God's PROMISE - BY FAITH - vv. 18-21. Here "faith" is defined as ruling out all personal participation, assistance, contributions by the "ungodly" but rather simply RESTING upon God's power alone and TRUSTING in God's promise alone - v. 21 C. Application to us - vv. 23-25 It is this definition of faith that obtained "imputed righteousness" - v. 22 and it is this definition of faith that obtains the promise of the gospel for us - vv. 23-25.