Skip to main content

Galatians 3:6 & meaning...


“believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.”

Galatians 3:6


Galatians 3 [5.] He therefore who supplies the Spirit to you, and does miracles among you, does he do it by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith? Even as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.” Know therefore that those who are of faith, the same are children of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Good News beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you all the nations will be blessed.”[a] So then, those who are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham. 


a. Galatians 3:8 Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 22:18.


This verse is a key part of Paul’s argument in his letter to the Galatians, where he emphasizes that faith, rather than works of the law, is the basis for righteousness. 

Justification by Faith: Paul wrote Galatians to address a controversy in the early church where some Jewish Christians were insisting that Gentile converts must follow the Jewish law to be fully accepted into the Christian community. Paul argues vehemently against this, stating that faith in Christ alone is sufficient for justification.

Abraham as an Example: By referencing Abraham, Paul points to a foundational figure in Jewish history to demonstrate that righteousness has always been by faith, not by works. This is significant because it predates the Mosaic Law, showing that God’s way of justifying people has always been through faith.

Abraham's Faith: Paul quotes Genesis 15:6, where Abraham believes God’s promise that he will have numerous descendants despite his old age and Sarah's barrenness. God counts this belief as righteousness.

Righteousness by Faith: This establishes the principle that righteousness is credited based on faith, not on adherence to the law or performing good works.

Theological Significance

  • Faith and Righteousness:

Faith’s Primacy: Galatians 3:6 underscores the idea that faith is the primary means by which we are made righteous before God. This is a central tenet of Christian theology, emphasizing grace over legalistic observance.

Imputed Righteousness: The concept of imputed righteousness means that God credits righteousness to individuals based on their faith. This righteousness is not earned but given by God because of faith.

  • Continuity with the Old Testament:

Unified Scripture: By using Abraham’s example, Paul shows the continuity between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The principle of justification by faith is not a new idea but one that has been present since the time of Abraham.

Faith of the Patriarchs: The faith of Abraham and other patriarchs is highlighted throughout the New Testament to demonstrate that true righteousness has always come through faith.

Applications for Our Lives

  • Embracing Faith:

Personal Faith Journey: Each believer is called to emulate Abraham’s faith, trusting in God’s promises even when circumstances seem impossible. This means believing in God’s word and relying on His faithfulness.

Rejecting Legalism: Paul’s message in Galatians encourages us to reject any form of legalism that suggests we must earn God’s favor. Instead, we are to rest in the assurance that our righteousness comes through faith in Christ.

  • Living Out Our Faith:

Faith in Action: While righteousness is imputed through faith, genuine faith manifests in actions. As James 2:26 states, “Faith apart from works is dead.” Our faith should be evident in how we live, love, and serve.

Continual Trust: Living by faith means continually trusting God in all aspects of our lives, not just for salvation but in everyday decisions and challenges.


Romans 4:3: "For what does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.'" Paul makes the same argument in Romans, highlighting that Abraham’s faith was credited as righteousness, reinforcing that justification is by faith.

James 2:23: "And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, 'Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness,' and he was called the friend of God." James acknowledges the importance of faith, but also emphasizes that faith is demonstrated through actions. Abraham’s faith was shown to be genuine through his willingness to obey God, even to the point of offering his son Isaac.

Hebrews 11:8: "By faith, Abraham, when he was called, obeyed to go out to the place which he was to receive for an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he went." Hebrews highlights the faith of Abraham in action, emphasizing his obedience and trust in God’s promises.

Conclusion: Galatians 3:6 is a pivotal verse that underscores the doctrine of justification by faith, using Abraham’s example to illustrate that righteousness comes through believing in God’s promises. This principle is foundational to Christian theology, emphasizing grace over works and legalism. By embracing faith as the basis for righteousness, believers are called to trust in God’s faithfulness and live lives that reflect their faith through actions.

This verse encourages us to reject legalistic tendencies and to rest in the assurance of God's grace. It also challenges us to live out our faith in practical ways, demonstrating the transformative power of trusting in God. As we reflect on Abraham’s example, we are reminded that faith is not just a one-time act but an ongoing journey of trust and obedience.

belief - righteous - promise

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


Chat    Topics     Index     WorldWideWitness