What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about — but not before God. What does Scripture say?Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.Romans 4:1-3
Paul says that Abraham our forefather discovered two ways to gain worth: One, Paul suggests, is by works. Abraham was a man of good works. In Genesis, Abraham was an idolator and worshipped the moon goddess. But he was not deliberately seeking to evade God. He worshipped in ignorance. It was in the midst of that condition that God appeared to him and spoke to him. Abraham believed God, responded to his call, and set out on a march without a map. He trusted God to lead him to a land he had never seen before, to take care of his family, and to fulfill his promises. So Abraham appears in the Scripture as a man of great works.
Paul admits that if Abraham was righteous because of works, he had something to boast about. Works always give you something to boast about. You can look at the record, you can show people what you have done and why you ought to be appreciated. You may not boast openly, but we all have very subtle ways and clever tricks of getting it out into the open so people can see what we have done. You can drop a hint of something you have done, hoping that people will ask some more about it. Somehow you manage things so that people will know you are a person of significance. That is the way the world is today, and the way it was in Abraham’s day.