Abraham was a habitual liar. Abraham had nothing to boast about and could not have been justified by works. Yet, Romans 4:3 is clear that it was Abraham’s belief that was credited to him as righteousness. In Genesis 12, God asked Abraham to cut himself off from his past. In Genesis 24, God asked Abraham to cut himself off from his future. In Genesis 15, Abraham questioned God out of a faith of ignorance, so God gave a covenant. Romans 4:4 tells us that any work that is done is what we owe God; it does not bring us justification or righteousness.
You are no less ungodly than you were when you were justified. What makes the difference is the Holy Spirit. But because faith is credited as righteousness, the relationship with God is better. Ephesians 2:8-10 is clear that faith is a gift from God. It was that faith through which we were saved, not because of anything we did. We are God’s workmanship; we were created in Christ Jesus (born again) and prepared to do works. We see from Romans 4:9-12 that Abraham had the faith credited to him as righteousness before he was circumcised. This shows he is the father of those who believe, regardless of whether they are circumcised. The circumcision was a sign of the righteousness he was credited with. It was through faith that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, not the Law. The reason God offers righteousness by faith is so that He can fulfill His oath to Abraham and his offspring. When something is by faith, it is also by grace. Grace looks to see what can I get involved in that God is doing and pleases Him. Abraham in hope, which came from God, believed and was made the father of nations. His body was as good as dead, but in faith he believed God’s promise and acted upon it to conceive a child. Like Abraham, our faith in the one who raised Jesus from the dead will be credited to us as righteousness. This makes us have a right relationship with God.