Rom. 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. The divide in Christianity is over the meaning of "faith" in Romans 3:24-5:2. Those who reject the doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone without works define "faith" or "beleiving" in Romans 3:24-5:2 as "faithfulness." They define imputation as God reckoning their own "faithfulness" as righteousness and thus God justifies "the godly." However, Romans 4:16-23 provides the contextual definition of faith/believing in regard to justification. In short, faith is not defined by what we are able to do (faithfulness, obedience to the apostolic faith and practice) but rather as trust in God for what we cannot do but what God must do for us. Rom. 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Romans 4:16 introduces "faith" as the only hope for obtaining "the promise" of ruling over this world as heirs. He denies that personal obedience to the law can obtain this promise (vv. 13-15). Paul says "it" (the promise) is "of faith that it might be by grace. Obtaining this promise requires that it be by grace instead of by works so that all the seed will obtain it - v. 16b. Paul now interjects an illustration from the life of Abraham to back up his assertion that the promise of being "heir" of the world must be "of faith....by grace" - Rom. 4:17-22. The illustration is the promise of an "heir" from Abraham's own loins. Only God can raise the dead and call things which be not as though they were (v. 17) and that is precisely what it took for Abraham to obtain the promise of an "heir" and that is precisely what it takes for anyone to be justified before God because they were "dead....deadness" in regard to obtaining this promise. 1. God waited until Abraham and Sarah's abilities to participate, assist and contribute to obtaining this promise was "dead" and "deadness." - v. 19 2. God waited until Abraham and Sarah only could "hope" in the face of all physical evidence against hope that such a promise could be obtained - v. 18 3. The only thing Abraham possessed was a strong faith - v. 20 4. The nature of this "faith" was the strong persuasion that God could do what they COULD NOT DO or help God do - v. 21 Paul wants the reader to know that this illustration is not just the definition of faith for that particular issue but it is this very same nature of faith that obtained imputation of righteousness by Abraham in verse 3 (v. 22). It is this very same nature of faith that is recorded for our sakes as well - v. 23 It is this very same nature of faith that obtains the promise of justification in Christ - vv. 24-25 It is this very same nature of faith that obtains the peace of God - 5:1 It is this very same nature of faith that obtains all the promises of God - 5:2 Therefore, justification "by faith" is not justifcation by WHAT WE CAN DO or ASSIST GOD in doing for or in or through us (our faithfulness) but it is utter dependence upon and utter persuasion/trust in God to obtain RIGHTEOUSENSS which we are NOT ABLE to provide for ourselves but is found only in Christ and obtained only by faith in the promise that God will IMPUTE/RECKON/COUNT it to us by simply believing in His promise in the gospel.