Galatians 6: What Is Salvation?

Living by grace through faith is not natural to us. Even after we have been saved, it is easy for us to slip back into thinking of works righteousness. We may have the head knowledge that we are saved by faith, but we try to live by our works. Because of this, Paul encouraged the Galatians to remember that the gospel is one of grace from start to finish.

At the same time, when we have been saved, there will be a change in our life. We are no longer the same person; the flesh is dead. As a result, we will do the good works that God has prepared for us as we become more conformed to the image of His Son (Ephesians 2:10).

What Is Salvation?

Even once we have been saved, it can be useful to review what salvation actually is so that we do not forget and try to live by our own works again.

The basis of salvation is the death and resurrection of Christ. We had no righteousness of our own and were under the wrath of God, so He sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sin. In doing so, Jesus gave His righteousness to those who believe in Him.

The means of salvation is grace through faith. This is true both now and in the past. Even in the Old Testament, those who were saved believed in God and were saved through the death and resurrection of Christ. They did not have the whole picture, but their faith was counted to them as righteousness (see Romans 4:3).

The object of faith is God—not faith in ourselves or in any other thing.

The content of faith is contained in general and special revelation. These are how God revealed Himself in space, time, and history. Special revelation in particular teaches us the content of faith, because we could never have imagined how God would choose to save us.

If you want to know what someone thinks about salvation, ask them this question: If you were to die tonight, why should God let you into heaven? A person’s answer to that will reveal whether they trust in works or grace.

Living by Grace

Paul reminds us in Galatians 6 that being saved by grace does not mean we refused to do good works. Instead, because we have been saved by grace through faith, we are able to do good works. God intends us to be people who encourage and serve other believers:

So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10)

The key to doing these good works is remembering that they do not earn us salvation; they flow from our salvation and our walk with the Lord.


This teaching is based on Ken Boa’s Handbook to Scripture

Related Reading:

Galatians 6: What Is Salvation?

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