Paul lays out a great argument in regards to how our salvation comes not from the fulfillment of the law or checking of any boxes, but rather through faith which is by grace. Not even faith, not even the words: “I believe”, is a direct ticket into heaven. Those words and the act of faith is not an act that would deserve our salvation. As Paul states in vs. 4 wages are something that we expect after we work. It doesn’t work that way with salvation. It doesn’t work that way for those who want to inherit eternal life. It is the relationship that we have with God which allows us to become co-heirs with Abraham to the promises that God made to him years ago. This is Paul’s argument.
Look at the latter part of this chapter. Especially starting at vs.22 where Paul lays out the case that Abraham was seen as righteous by God even before his act of circumcision. It was not as if the moment that Abraham was circumcised then, and only then, did God see him as righteous. No, the circumcision was a sign that Abraham was God’s child. Now circumcision for us today as Christians has been replaced by the sacrament of baptism. We no longer see circumcision as the sign that God has chosen us. That is a good thing otherwise all the women out there would be out of luck. Baptism is the sign and seal of God claiming us as his children. So, in regards to baptism, is the act of being baptized what saves us? Is the statement that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior that which saves us? Absolutely not, but rather the faith that God through his grace places upon us. This is the salvation that comes from God primarily and exclusively for those who would call out His name.
Vs. 24 spells that out very, very clearly. Those who believe in the one who raised Jesus from the dead will be reckoned, or considered, as righteous. I’m going to leave you with that thought, and a clip of the choir that my daughter Naomi has been travelling with over the last three weeks. It’s in Rio. She’s the blonde one in the botttom right corner of the choir. It is a powerful video: https://youtu.be/EArTu37c0xI