Galatians 1-2 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
1 From Paul—an apostle chosen not by any group or individual but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who brought him back to life— 2 and all the believers who are with me.
To the churches in Galatia.
3 Good will[a] and peace are yours from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ! 4 In order to free us from this present evil world, Christ took the punishment for our sins, because that was what our God and Father wanted. 5 Glory belongs to our God and Father forever! Amen.
Follow the Good News We Gave You
6 I’m surprised that you’re so quickly deserting Christ, who called you in his kindness,[b] to follow a different kind of good news. 7 But what some people are calling good news is not really good news at all. They are confusing you. They want to distort the Good News about Christ. 8 Whoever tells you good news that is different from the Good News we gave you should be condemned to hell, even if he is one of us or an angel from heaven. 9 I’m now telling you again what we’ve told you in the past: If anyone tells you good news that is different from the Good News you received, that person should be condemned to hell.
10 Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.
Jesus Alone Gave Paul the Good News He Spreads
11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the Good News I have spread is not a human message. 12 I didn’t receive it from any person. I wasn’t taught it, but Jesus Christ revealed it to me.
13 You heard about the way I once lived when I followed the Jewish religion. You heard how I violently persecuted God’s church and tried to destroy it. 14 You also heard how I was far ahead of other Jews in my age group in following the Jewish religion. I had become that fanatical for the traditions of my ancestors.
15 But God, who appointed me before I was born and who called me by his kindness, was pleased 16 to show me his Son. He did this so that I would tell people who are not Jewish that his Son is the Good News. When this happened, I didn’t talk it over with any other person. 17 I didn’t even go to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went to Arabia and then came back to Damascus.
18 Then, three years later I went to Jerusalem to become personally acquainted with Cephas.[c] I stayed with him for fifteen days. 19 I didn’t see any other apostle. I only saw James, the Lord’s brother. 20 (God is my witness that what I’m writing is not a lie.) 21 Then I went to the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 The churches of Christ in Judea didn’t know me personally. 23 The only thing they had heard was this: “The man who persecuted us is now spreading the faith that he once tried to destroy.” 24 So they praised God for what had happened to me.
Paul Was Accepted as an Apostle by the Leaders in Jerusalem
2 Then 14 years later I went to Jerusalem again with Barnabas. I also took Titus along. 2 I went in response to a revelation from God. I showed them the way I spread the Good News among people who are not Jewish. I did this in a private meeting with those recognized as important people to see whether all my efforts had been wasted.
3 Titus was with me, and although he is Greek, no one forced him to be circumcised.
4 False Christians were brought in. They slipped in as spies to learn about the freedom Christ Jesus gives us. They hoped to find a way to control us. 5 But we did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the Good News would always be yours.
6 Those who were recognized as important people didn’t add a single thing to my message. (What sort of people they were makes no difference to me, since God doesn’t play favorites.) 7 In fact, they saw that I had been entrusted with telling the Good News to people who are not circumcised as Peter had been entrusted to tell it to those who are circumcised. 8 The one who made Peter an apostle to Jewish people also made me an apostle to people who are not Jewish. 9 James, Cephas, and John (who were recognized as the most important people) acknowledged that God had given me this special gift.[d] So they shook hands with Barnabas and me, agreeing to be our partners. It was understood that we would work among the people who are not Jewish and they would work among Jewish people. 10 The only thing they asked us to do was to remember the poor, the very thing which I was eager to do.
Paul Shows How Cephas Was Wrong
11 When Cephas came to Antioch, I had to openly oppose him because he was completely wrong. 12 He ate with people who were not Jewish until some men James had sent from Jerusalem arrived. Then Cephas drew back and would not associate with people who were not Jewish. He was afraid of those who insisted that circumcision was necessary. 13 The other Jewish Christians also joined him in this hypocrisy. Even Barnabas was swept along with them.
14 But I saw that they were not properly following the truth of the Good News. So I told Cephas in front of everyone, “You’re Jewish, but you live like a person who is not Jewish. So how can you insist that people who are not Jewish must live like Jews?”
15 We are Jewish by birth, not sinners from other nations. 16 Yet, we know that people don’t receive God’s approval by any effort to follow the laws in the Scriptures, but only by believing in Jesus Christ. So we also believed in Jesus Christ in order to receive God’s approval by faith in Christ and not by our own efforts. People won’t receive God’s approval by their own efforts.
17 If we, the same people who are searching for God’s approval in Christ, are still sinners, does that mean that Christ encourages us to sin? That’s unthinkable! 18 If I rebuild something that I’ve torn down, I admit that I was wrong to tear it down. 19 When I tried to obey the laws in the Scriptures, those laws killed me. As a result, I live in a relationship with God. I have been crucified with Christ. 20 I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live I live by believing in God’s Son, who loved me and took the punishment for my sins. 21 I don’t reject God’s kindness.[e] If we receive God’s approval by obeying the laws in the Scriptures, then Christ’s death was pointless.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.