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 What then shall we say about Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh?
 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
 For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
 Now 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
 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.
 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”
 When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.”
 Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.”
 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly charged them, “See that no one knows it.”
 But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.
 As they were going away, behold, a dumb demoniac was brought to him.
 And when the demon had been cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.”
 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America