The promise to Abraham and his descendants, that they should inherit the world, did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.
 If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void.
 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants — not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, for he is the father of us all,
 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations” — in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations; as he had been told, “So shall your descendants be.”
 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.
 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,
 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
 That is why his faith was “reckoned to him as righteousness.”
 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
 and a man’s foes will be those of his own household.
 He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
 and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.
 “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me.
 He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
 And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America