Post 41C presents the single, definite and fixed meaning Paul intended to convey to his audience by writing Galatians 1:6-9.  To arrive at my interpretation, I factored in the following two basic factors: (1) the substance of the Judaizer’s message, which lacked salvific efficacy, and (2) the impact of the doctrine of analogy of faith. 

In brief summary, there were three main points Paul wanted to convey to his audience.

First, he intended to tell his audience that faith, which inherently includes repentance, alone in Jesus Christ was the only true, saving gospel message. This was the message preached by Paul during his first missionary journey and throughout his writings.

Second, he intended to convey to his audience that there was only one true gospel, so any message that required faith in Jesus Christ, and circumcision for salvation was “different” from the true gospel message and not “another” saving message.  Anyone who trusted, even in part, in their circumcision for their salvation was lost.

Third, he intended to convey to his audience that anyone who proclaimed a message different from the message of faith alone in Jesus Christ should be condemned to hell.

My more detailed discussion is below.


The Judaizers’ message lacked salvific efficacy.  The overarching observations about Galatians 1:6-9 reveals that the Judaizers’ “different gospel” lacked salvific efficacy.  When there is only one saving gospel, it follows that a gospel different from the one saving gospel cannot possess salvific efficacy. 

In addition, what Paul wrote in Galatians 5:2–6 (NASB95) very clearly teaches that circumcision negated the salvific efficacy of the Judaizers’ message:

2 Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. 4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.

In reference to Galatians 5:2, one commentator [Anders, M. (1999). Galatians-Colossians (Vol. 8, p. 62). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers writes [Boldfacing in the original]:

5:2. Those who return to the law face six negative consequences. First, it invalidates Christ’s work on the cross for Christ will be no value to you. By submitting to circumcision, a person demonstrated that they were not fully trusting in Christ. Instead they added their own works to what Christ had done, thus invalidating the sufficiency of Christ for salvation.

What Anders says bears repeating:

By submitting to circumcision, a person demonstrated that they were not fully trusting in Christ. Instead they added their own works to what Christ had done, thus invalidating the sufficiency of Christ for salvation.

Another commentator (George, T. (1994). Galatians (Vol. 30, p. 357). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers) points out that to accept the Judaizers’ argument was a rejection of true salvation:

For the Galatians to accept this heretical theology and the practice derived from it would mean that they had rejected God’s all-sufficient provision for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross.

Finally, Boles (Boles, K. L. (1993). Galatians & Ephesians (Ga 5:2). Joplin, MO: College Press, boldfacing in the original) makes the connection between Galatians 5:2 and verses 6-7:

Christ will be of no value to you at all.

Christ will “profit nothing” to those whose trust is in their own work of keeping laws such as circumcision. It is not merely a matter of adding an innocuous “extra” to the gospel; it is a matter of changing it to no gospel at all (1:6–7). Why is this? It is because the whole issue of faith and trust is at stake. To have faith in Jesus Christ is to trust his sacrifice to be adequate in God’s eyes to save the sinner. To believe that his sacrifice is in any way deficient is not to trust—not to believe.

It is important to consider the last sentence of Boles.  It points out that any “gospel” that comprises “Christ +” is not a saving gospel. 

Summing it up, the Judaizers’ message, which demanded circumcision, was a “different gospel” that lacked salvific efficacy.  In other words, circumcision negated the salvific efficacy of the Judaizers’ “different gospel.”


Throughout these many posts, the analogy of faith has greatly impacted the interpretation of those passages cited in support of baptismal regeneration.  The Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics, ARTICLE XVII reads:

We affirm the unity, harmony and consistency of Scripture and declare that it is its own best interpreter.

The Exposition of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics reads [in part]”

Interpretation should adhere to the principle of harmony in the biblical material. Scripture exhibits a wide diversity of concepts and viewpoints within a common faith and an advancing disclosure of divine truth within the biblical period. These differences should not be minimized, but the unity which underlies the diversity should not be lost sight of at any point. We should look to Scripture to interpret Scripture and deny as a matter of method that particular texts, all of which have the one Holy Spirit as their source, can be genuinely discrepant with each other. Even when we cannot at present demonstrate their harmony in a convincing way, we should proceed on the basis that they are in fact harmonious and that fuller knowledge will show this.

Many other Bible study resources makes it abundantly clear that an interpretation of a passage must be consistent and in harmony with the balance of Scripture.  For example, R. C. Sproul (Knowing Scripture at page 51) describes the “analogy of faith” to mean [emphasis added]:

The analogy of faith is the rule that Scripture is to interpret Scripture: … This means, quite simply, that no part of Scripture can be interpreted in such a way as to render it in conflict with what is clearly taught elsewhere in Scripture. …  This principle rests on the prior confidence in the Bible as the inspired Word of God.  It is, therefore, consistent and coherent.  Since it is assumed that God would never contradict Himself, it is thought slanderous to the Holy Spirit to choose an alternate interpretation that would unnecessarily bring the Bible in conflict with itself.

Kay Arthur in her book How to Study Your Bible (Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR (1994)) writes on page 62:

The best interpreter of Scripture is Scripture.  Remember, all Scripture is inspired by God; it is God-breathed.  Therefore, Scripture will never contradict itself.  If it appears to, then your interpretation of at least one passage is incomplete or wrong.

J. Robertson McQuicken in his book An Introduction to Hermeneutics – Understanding and Applying the Bible (Moody Press, Chicago, IL (1983)) writes on page 48:

If, indeed, the Bible is true in all its parts, a true unity must be sought by the one who would understand Scripture.  Scripture must be compared with Scripture, and the context of the writer and the first receiver of the writing must be examined.  …  But we must begin with the basic principle that because all parts of Scripture are true, the harmony is already there, and out task is to search it out.

In his book Oneness Pentecostals and the Trinity (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI 49516 (1992)), Gregory A. Boyd writes on page 136 after saying that water baptism was an essential action connected with the salvation experience in the 1st Century [emphasis added]:

This is not, however, the same as saying that salvation was ever seen as being directly contingent upon baptism.  The continual insistence in the New Testament that it is by faith, and faith alone, that saves a person is itself enough to prove that (e.g., John 3:15, 36; 5:24; Acts 2:21; 10:43; 15:9; 16:31; Rom. 1:17; 3:22-30; 4:3, 5; 5:1; 9:30; 10:9-13; Acts 15:9, etc.).  At least sixty times in the New Testament, eternal salvation is explicitly tied to faith and/or repentance with no mention of baptism. … The fact that the thief on the cross could be saved without being baptized further corroborates the point (Luke 23:42-43; cf. 18:9-14).

The website (link: Is salvation by faith alone, or by faith plus works? | presents an article entitled “Is salvation by faith alone, or by faith plus works?”  This article reads in part [italics in the original]:

Is salvation by faith alone, or is salvation by faith plus works? This is perhaps the most important question in all of Christian theology. This question was the cause of the Reformation, the split between Protestantism and Catholicism. This question is a key difference between biblical Christianity and most of the cults. Is salvation through faith alone or through faith plus human works? Stated another way, am I saved by trusting in Jesus, or do I have to believe in Jesus and, in addition, do certain things?

The works in addition to faith needed for salvation differ in various religious circles. Many groups point to water baptism as a work that must be added to faith for salvation—if you’re not baptized, you’re not saved. Some go even further: you must be baptized by the right minister, using the right method, saying the right words.

Others suggest different rites to be observed in order to be saved, but the formula is always faith + [fill in the blank]. Salvation is through faith + receiving Mass, faith + going to confession, faith + tithing, etc.

Many passages of the Bible teach that salvation is through faith alone, not faith plus works. Ephesians 2:8–9, for example, is clearly worded and unequivocal: “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Of great importance is the word grace, which refers to God’s blessings on the undeserving. The very idea of grace negates all attempts to earn salvation. Paul makes that argument when teaching on God’s choosing of the remnant of Israel: “Since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved” (Romans 11:6, NLT).

Other passages that clearly teach salvation through faith alone include Acts 16:31; Romans 3:28; 4:5; 5:1; Galatians 2:16; 3:24; Ephesians 1:13; and Philippians 3:9.

The following passages from the Gospel of John and 1 John supplement the above passages:

John 1:12-13 (NASB95) – 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 3:14–18 (NASB95) – 14 “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:36 (NASB95) – 36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

John 4:39–42 (NASB95) – 39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of His word; 42 and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.”

John 5:24 (NASB95) – 24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

John 6:35 (NASB95) – 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

John 6:40 (NASB95) – 40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

John 6:47 (NASB95) – 47 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

John 7:38–39 (NASB95) – 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

John 8:23-24 (NASB95) –23 And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.  24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

John 11:25–26 (NASB95) – 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:40 (NASB95) – 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

John 12:35-36 (NASB95) –35 So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.  36 “While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.” These things Jesus spoke, and He went away and hid Himself from them.

John 12:44-46 (NASB95) –44 And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 “He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. 46 “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.

John 20:29 (NASB95) – 29 Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

John 20:31 (NASB95) – 31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

1 John 3:23 (NASB95) – 23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.

1 John 5:1 (NASB95) – 1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.

1 John 5:5 (NASB95) – 5 Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

1 John 5:10 (NASB95) – 10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son.

1 John 5:13 (NASB95) – 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.


In reference to the interpretation of Galatians 1:6-9, it is beyond credible argument that the sole, definite interpretation of Galatians 1:6-9 is that Paul intended to convey the following basic teachings to his original audience. 

First, he intended to tell his audience that faith, which inherently includes repentance, alone in Jesus Christ was the only true, saving gospel message. This was the message preached by Paul during his first missionary journey and throughout his writings.

Second, he intended to convey to his audience that there was only one true gospel, so any message that required faith in Jesus Christ, and circumcision for salvation was “different” from the true gospel message and not “another” saving message.  Anyone who trusted, even in part, in their circumcision for their salvation was lost.

Third, he intended to convey to his audience that anyone who proclaimed a message different from the message of faith alone in Jesus Christ should be condemned to hell.

The above interpretation complies with the analogy of faith in that it is consistent with the whole of Scripture that teaches salvation is by faith alone in Jesus Christ.


Post 41D applies Galatians 1:6-9, as properly interpreted, to the issue of whether the doctrine of baptismal regeneration negates the salvific efficacy of an otherwise saving message. 


Finally, let me quote (link: ):

If you believe in baptismal regeneration, you would do well to prayerfully consider whom or what you are really putting your trust in. Is your faith in a physical act (being baptized) or in the finished work of Christ on the cross? Whom or what are you trusting for salvation? Is it the shadow (baptism) or the substance (Jesus Christ)? Our faith must rest in Christ alone. “We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

Please read and take to heart what I write in the section entitled “IF YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN.”



If you are unsure about your salvation, you need to check out my book The Salvation Meter: Biblical Self-Diagnostic Tests to Examine Your Salvation and Spiritual Growth (book link at Xulon Press: ).  At Amazon the book link is .  I also have a website in which I am updating the content in the book.  The link to my website for the book is .


… please (1) read through “God’s Plan of Salvation” so you can understand what God did for you through His only unique Son, Jesus Christ, and (2), from the bottom of your heart, pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” meaning every word.  If you do, you will be reconciled to God – saved – through Jesus Christ. 

God’s Plan of Salvation

In the beginning, God, who is holy, created the entire universe.  As a part of His creative actions, He made humans in His image to know Him.  For a while, everything was right between God and our ancestors, Adam and Eve.    But Adam sinned, and his sin was passed down to all of humankind whereby we became separated from God.  Nothing we could do on our own could bridge that separation so that without God’s intervention, hell would be our eternal destination.   

Fortunately for us, in His great love and mercy God provided humankind with the only means of salvation, which is through Jesus Christ who is God’s only unique Son.  While retaining His deity, God the Son became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law Himself and taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever repent and trust in Him for their salvation.  Jesus rose from the dead, showing that God the Father accepted Christ’s sacrifice and that God’s wrath against us has been exhausted.  He now calls us to repent of our sins and trust alone in what Christ did to save us. 

If we repent of our sins and completely trust in Christ alone that He died for our sins and rose to life from the dead, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God. 

Scripture References: Genesis 1:1, 27, 31; Habakkuk 1:13; Genesis 2:7, 18, 21-25;  Genesis 3:1-7, 23-24; Isaiah 59:2; Romans 3:19-20, 23; 5:17-19; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 John 4:10; John 3:16-18; Mark 1:15; Romans 1:4; 4:25; John 3:5-8; 1 Peter 1:3.

 “Sinner’s Prayer”

Lord, Jesus Christ, the only unique Son of God, thank You for Your free gift of eternal life.  I know I’m a sinner who cannot save myself no matter what I do, and I deserve to spend eternity in hell.  But, I know that because You loved me so much, You voluntarily died on the cross for me taking my sins upon Yourself, and You physically bodily rose from the grave showing that Your sacrificial death was sufficient payment to give me eternal life in Heaven.  I now repent of my sins and trust alone in what You did for my eternal salvation.  Please take control of my life as I now receive You as my Lord and Savior.  Thank You so much for saving me.  I am now Yours forever! (Scripture references: John 1:1-4, 11-14; John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:21-26; Isaiah 53:4-6; Mark 1:15; Acts 16:31; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-10, 13; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; John 10:27-29).

Upon your salvation, you must find a spiritually solid Bible-believing church that (1) teaches that the sixty-six books of the Bible are the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God, (2) believes in the doctrine of the Trinity, which means that there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct Persons — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and each Person is fully God, and (3) teaches that salvation is by grace through faith and not by works (e.g., water baptism by immersion).

ONE CAUTIONARY POINT.  Please do not make the mistake of thinking that once you become a Christian, your life will become easy.  Most likely, it will become more difficult.  God’s blessing of salvation and life’s difficulties are not mutually exclusive.  Jesus told His disciples, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” John 15:18 (NLT).  Always keep in mind that you have an eternal home in heaven waiting for you per John 14:2–4 (NLT):

2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.  If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.  4 And you know the way to where I am going.”



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