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Galatians 5 Expanded Bible (EXB)

Keep Your Freedom

Christ set us free ·so that we could live in freedom [to a place of freedom; or by means of freedom; 4:31]. So stand strong. Do not ·change and go back into the slavery of the law [L submit/be fastened to a yoke of slavery]. Listen, I Paul tell you that if you ·go back to the law by being [L let yourself be] circumcised, Christ does you no good. Again, I warn every man: If you allow yourselves to be circumcised, you ·must follow [are obligated to obey] all the law. If you try to be ·made right with God [justified] through the law, ·your life with Christ is over [L you are alienated/separated/severed from Christ]—you have ·left [fallen away from] God’s grace. For by the Spirit and through faith we wait eagerly for ·a right relationship with God [L righteousness]—the object of our hope. ·When we are [L For] in Christ Jesus, ·it is not important if we are circumcised or not [L neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything]. The important thing is faith—the kind of faith that works through love.

You were running a good race. Who ·stopped [hindered] you from ·following [or obeying; or your conviction about] the ·true way [truth]? This ·change [persuasion; enticement] did not come from the One who ·chose [called] you. Be careful! “Just a little ·yeast [leaven; 1 Cor. 5:6–7] makes the whole batch of dough rise [C a little error will spread through the whole community].” 10 But I ·trust [L have confidence/am persuaded about you] in the Lord that you will ·not believe those different ideas [take no different view]. Whoever is ·confusing [troubling] you with such ideas will ·be punished [pay the penalty; L bear the condemnation], ·no matter who he is [L whoever he may be].

11 My brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching ·that a man must be circumcised [L circumcision; C some were evidently accusing Paul of this], why am I still being ·attacked [persecuted]? If I still taught circumcision, ·my preaching about the cross would not be a problem [the scandal/offense of the cross has been removed/abolished]. 12 I wish the people who are bothering you would ·castrate themselves [make themselves eunuchs; L cut it off]! [C Paul sarcastically says that if circumcision is so helpful, why not go even further?]

13 My brothers and sisters, God called you to ·be free [L freedom], but do not use your freedom as an ·excuse to do what pleases [opportunity/occasion for] your ·sinful self [sinful nature; flesh]. [L But; Rather] Serve each other with love. 14 [L For] The whole law is ·made complete [summed up; fulfilled] in this one command: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself [Lev. 19:18].” 15 [L But] If you go on ·hurting each other and tearing each other apart [L biting and devouring one another], be careful, or you will completely ·destroy [or consume] each other.

The Spirit and Human Nature

16 So I tell you: ·Live [Walk] ·by following [guided by; in the power of; L by] the Spirit. Then you will not do what your ·sinful self [sinful nature; T flesh] ·wants [desires; craves]. 17 Our ·sinful self [sinful nature; T flesh] ·wants [desires] what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit ·wants [desires] what is against our ·sinful self [sinful nature; T flesh]. [L For] The two are ·against [opposed to; or hostile toward] each other, so you cannot do just what you ·please [want]. 18 But if the Spirit is leading you, you are not under the law.

19 The ·wrong things the sinful self does [works of the flesh/sinful nature] are ·clear [evident; obvious]: ·being sexually unfaithful [sexual immorality], ·not being pure [impurity], ·taking part in sexual sins [depravity; promiscuity], 20 ·worshiping gods [idolatry], ·doing witchcraft [sorcery], ·hating [hostility; antagonism], ·making trouble [discord; strife], being jealous, ·being angry [rage], ·being selfish [rivalries], ·making people angry with each other [dissensions], ·causing divisions among people [factions], 21 feeling envy, being drunk, ·having wild and wasteful parties [carousings; orgies], and doing other things like these. I warn you now as I warned you before: Those who do these things will not inherit God’s kingdom. 22 But the ·Spirit produces the fruit of [L fruit of the Spirit is] love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, ·faithfulness [or faith], 23 gentleness, self-control. ·There is no law that says these things are wrong [or No law can oppose such things]. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified ·their own sinful selves [the sinful nature; the flesh]. They have given up ·their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do [L its passions and desires]. 25 ·We [L If/Since we…] ·get our new life from the Spirit [live by the Spirit], so we should ·follow [be guided by; walk in step with] the Spirit. 26 We must not be ·proud [conceited] or ·make trouble with [provoke] each other or be ·jealous [envious] of each other.

Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Galatians 5 New International Version (NIV)

Freedom in Christ

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. 11 Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!

Life by the Spirit

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.


  1. Galatians 5:13 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit; also in verses 16, 17, 19 and 24; and in 6:8.
  2. Galatians 5:14 Lev. 19:18
  3. Galatians 5:17 Or you do not do what
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Galatians 5 King James Version (KJV)

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.

11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

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