Please remember, Paul has just reaffirmed Torah! :
Rom 3:31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.
Firstly, one must understand that most all of Ch. 4 is under the context of Abraham's Salvation, Step 1, in our 4 Steps. Salvation is given to all who accept Jesus, by FAITH!
Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
Eph 2:9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
This is the glorious, "come as you are" Salvation, circumcised or not, Jew or Gentile, Sinner - as ALL of us are!
Rom 4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?
Rom 4:2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
Rom 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? "ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS."
Rom 4:4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.
Rom 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,
Rom 4:6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
Rom 4:7 "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED.
Rom 4:8 "BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT."
[Note: Paul is referencing King David's writings in Psalms 32. He is also referencing Ezek. 18, 32, and 33, and Gen. 15 and 17. "Father" Abram was considered righteous by FAITH alone! But wait, the story's not over yet!]
Rom 4:9 Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, "FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS."
Rom 4:10 How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;
(the very definition of Salvation, "Come as you are".)
Rom 4:11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,
Rom 4:12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.
[Note: What is the example of Abraham, then? The example is that by FAITH he came into Salvation. And because of this FAITH, he followed Torah by getting circumcised, as, "a seal of the righteousness of the faith"! Why, because of his FAITH, not because Torah makes one righteous!]
Rom 4:13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Rom 4:14 For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;
Rom 4:15 for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.
Rom 4:16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
Rom 4:17 (as it is written, "A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU") in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.
Rom 4:18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, "SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE."
Rom 4:19 Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb;
Rom 4:20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,
Rom 4:21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.
Rom 4:22 Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Rom 4:23 Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him,
Rom 4:24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,
Rom 4:25 He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.
[Note: "Churchy" types will argue that these verses make the "Law" obsolete and void. It DOES NOT! What it makes void is Righteousness without Faith! Remember the Israelites in the desert? Only two individuals had the Faith to say, "we should proceed into the promised land and kill these giants because the LORD is with us!" (Paraphrased, of course) Most all of the Israelites did not have enough Faith to take the next step!
The next step is the same step that Abraham took. His Faith enabled him to step forward into Torah and he was circumcised. We need Faith to establish Salvation, but that is not the end of the race. So, why did Abraham step forward and follow a requirement of Torah, and why does Sha'ul continue to reaffirm Torah? Because Torah is part of Sanctification and Purification and both Abraham and Paul had Faith to proceed to the next steps. How can Abraham have Torah? I thought Torah was established later, with Moses! No, Torah has been there from the Beginning. See John, Ch. 1.]
I wish to tell you a true story. Last Shabbat, the Tigress and I were enjoying a video by Dr. Michael Lake, when the doorbell rang. Yes, it was a Jehovah's Witness. A nice lady with her young son. She said she wanted to share some Bible verses with me, so I said, "OK", but I have some questions for you, first (The Tigress was still inside at this point). I asked her if she celebrated the Sabbath - she said no. I asked if she celebrated any of Jehovah's "Feast Days" - she said no. I asked her if she tried her best to follow Torah - she said no, and why should she, she said - that's for the Jews! I told her that someone claiming to be a Witness for the Father should at least do what the Father said to do! About this time the Tigress walked out with a Bible. I mentioned to the nice lady that Jesus is of the Father and One with the Father, so does she believe in Jesus? She said, yes, I believe in Jesus but he was not Jewish and did not follow Torah! I asked her if she ate pork. She said, of course! My wife then opened her Bible to Lev. 11 and read to her the verses about swine flesh being an abomination. My wife also turned to Lev. 23 and read to her the verses saying ALL of Jehovah's Feast Days are to be celebrated perpetually, by ALL generations. I then reminded her that Jesus is the Lion of Judah and, of course He is Jewish! I told her, no offense intended, but she makes a pretty bad Witness for Jehovah! About that time the Tigress said; "We should pray". My wife took off in a beautiful prayer to Abba concerning our need to learn His ways and .... Boom! This Lady ran off like a rocket! She wanted no more of this discussion! : )
You see, Folks. The Good Book does not deny Torah. But Torah is not something that gives us Salvation. Faith is required for that. Instead, it is God's Perfect set of Instructions to help Purify us! Why am I so convinced of this? Because the JW Lady forgot something very critical (and so has the Church). If Jesus did not follow Torah perfectly and promote Torah, HE CANNOT BE THE MESSIAH!
Deu 13:1 "If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,
Deu 13:2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,'
Deu 13:3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deu 13:4 "You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.
Deu 13:5 "But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the LORD your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you.
Deu 13:6 "If your brother, your mother's son, or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods' (whom neither you nor your fathers have known,
Deu 13:7 of the gods of the peoples who are around you, near you or far from you, from one end of the earth to the other end),
Deu 13:8 you shall not yield to him or listen to him; and your eye shall not pity him, nor shall you spare or conceal him.
Deu 13:9 "But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
Deu 13:10 "So you shall stone him to death because he has sought to seduce you from the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
Deu 13:11 "Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such a wicked thing among you.
Deu 13:12 "If you hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God is giving you to live in, anyone saying that
Deu 13:13 some worthless men have gone out from among you and have seduced the inhabitants of their city, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods' (whom you have not known),
Deu 13:14 then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly. If it is true and the matter established that this abomination has been done among you,
Deu 13:15 you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying it and all that is in it and its cattle with the edge of the sword.
Deu 13:16 "Then you shall gather all its booty into the middle of its open square and burn the city and all its booty with fire as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God; and it shall be a ruin forever. It shall never be rebuilt.
Deu 13:17 "Nothing from that which is put under the ban shall cling to your hand, in order that the LORD may turn from His burning anger and show mercy to you, and have compassion on you and make you increase, just as He has sworn to your fathers,
Deu 13:18 if you will listen to the voice of the LORD your God, keeping all His commandments which I am commanding you today, and doing what is right in the sight of the LORD your God.