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O you Galatians, have you no sense at all? Who has fooled you? You knew, just as if you had seen him with your own eyes, that Jesus Christ was killed on a cross.

Here is one thing I want to ask you. You received the Holy Spirit. Was that because you obeyed the law [given to the Jews by Moses]? No, it was because you heard God's word and believed it.

Have you no sense at all? You began living your new life by the power of the Spirit. And are you now trying to finish living it by your own power [to keep the law]?

So many things happened to you. Was it all for nothing? Surely it was not for nothing.

God gives you the Spirit. He does wonderful works among you. Does he do this because you obey the law? No, he does it because you heard the word of God and believed it.

So it was with Abraham. The holy writings say `He believed God, and that was why God called him a good man.'

You see then, the people who believe God are children of Abraham.

The holy writings say that he will put people right with himself if they believe him, even those who are not Jews. It was written down before God did it. The holy writings told the good news to Abraham ahead of time. It said, `God will make you a blessing to all nations and people.'

Abraham believed God and was blessed. And so those who believe God are blessed too, along with him.

10 A curse is on all people who are trying to become good by obeying the law. The holy writings say, `Everyone is cursed who does not always obey everything that is written in the book of the law and do it.'

11 Now, you can see this. No man is called a good man by God because he obeys the law. The holy writings say, `Those who are right with God shall live by faith.'

12 The law does not ask people to believe. It says, `He who obeys the laws will live because of them.'

13 Christ has saved us from the curse which the law put on us. He took the curse on himself. It should have been on us. The holy writings say, `A curse be on everyone who hangs on a tree!'

14 Christ Jesus did this so that those who are not Jews will have the blessing which Abraham had. He did this so that when we believe, we will receive the Spirit who was promised to us.

15 My brothers, it is the same as when a man makes a promise. He makes it good and strong. Then no one can break it or add anything to it.

16 God made his promises to Abraham and to his Son. The promise does not have the words, `and to his sons,' for that means many sons. But it says, `and to his Son,' and that Son is Christ.

17 Here is what I mean. The law was given [to Moses] four hundred and thirty years after God gave that promise to Abraham. But it cannot break the strong promise which God made. And the law cannot change God's promise.

18 Do we get what God has promised us by obeying the law? If we do, then we are not getting it by his promise. But God gave it to Abraham by his promise.

19 Why then was the law made? God gave it after he made the promise, because so many people were doing what was wrong. The law was to be in power only until the Son came, the one to whom the promise was made. The law was handed down by God's angels with the help of a middle man.

20 To need the help of a middle man there must be more than one person making the agreement. But God is the only one who made the promise.

21 Is the law against the promises of God? No, it is not! If a law had been given that could give people life, then surely people would have become good people by the law.

22 But the holy writings say it is like this. The whole world is in prison, kept there by the wrong things they have done. This was done so that people who believe in Jesus Christ would have the blessing. This blessing was promised to those who believe.

23 Before one came for us to believe in, the law held us in prison like slaves. We were kept there until the one to believe in should come.

24 The law watched over us, as if we were children, until Christ came. Then God would put us right with himself through faith in Christ.

25 But now that one has come for us to believe in, the law does not watch over us any longer.

26 You are all God's children because you have believed in Christ Jesus.

27 All of you who have been baptised into Christ have taken Christ as your own.

28 There is no longer any difference between a Jew and one who is not a Jew; between a slave and a free man; between a man and a woman. When you are in the body of Christ Jesus, you are all alike.

29 If you belong to Christ, you are Abraham's children. And if you are Abraham's children, you will receive the blessing that God has promised.