What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
Note 1 at Ro 4:1: The question is, "What good, then, were Abraham's works?" Paul answered this indirectly. He stated what Abraham's works were not good for. They were not good enough to grant him justification in the sight of God; that came by faith. He showed that Abraham's works, or efforts, didn't earn him anything from God. Abraham was justified by faith for over thirteen years (see note 3 at Ro 4:10) before he performed the act of circumcision that the Jews were insisting was necessary for right standing with God (Ro 4:10-11).