"For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God."
Abraham, the father of faith, was justified--but not by works. Rather, he was justified by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. His works confirmed the reality and genuineness of his faith, (as per Jas. 2:21). But even if Abraham could brag about his works, he could not do so before God.
And this is the "religion trap": boasting in one's works, so as to haught-
ily think one deserves justification. This is the devil's justification, be-
cause it fails to fully consider the absoluteness, exclusivity, and total-
ity of the Son of God's atonement for wretched sinners. Don't be fool-
ed: those who believe their works save them will get exactly what they deserve.
[Puritan quote of the day: "Skeptics in religion have hot brains but cold hearts." --Thomas Watson, in, "The Beatitudes"]