Freedom of the Christian

For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm,(A) then, and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.(B) Take note! I, Paul, am telling you that if you get yourselves circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all. Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to do the entire law. You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace.(C) For we eagerly await(D) through the Spirit, by faith, the hope(E) of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith(F) working through love.(G)

You were running well. Who prevented you from being persuaded regarding the truth?[a](H) This persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.(I) A little leaven[b] leavens the whole batch of dough. 10 I myself am persuaded in the Lord you will not accept any other view. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty.(J) 11 Now brothers and sisters, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross(K) has been abolished. 12 I wish those who are disturbing you might also let themselves be mutilated!

13 For you were called(L) to be free, brothers and sisters; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity[c] for the flesh, but serve one another through love. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled(M) in one statement: Love your neighbor as yourself.[d](N) 15 But if you bite and devour(O) one another, watch out, or you will be consumed by one another.

The Spirit versus the Flesh

16 I say, then, walk by the Spirit(P) and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires(Q) what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.(R) 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious:[e] sexual immorality,(S) moral impurity,(T) promiscuity,(U) 20 idolatry,(V) sorcery,(W) hatreds,(X) strife,(Y) jealousy,(Z) outbursts of anger,(AA) selfish ambitions,(AB) dissensions,(AC) factions,(AD) 21 envy,[f](AE) drunkenness, carousing,(AF) and anything similar. I am warning you about these things—as I warned you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.(AG)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit(AH) is love,(AI) joy,(AJ) peace, patience,(AK) kindness,(AL) goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness,(AM) and self-control.(AN) The law is not against such things.[g] 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus(AO) have crucified the flesh(AP) with its passions and desires.(AQ) 25 If we live(AR) by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.(AS)

Carry One Another’s Burdens

Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle(AT) spirit,[h](AU) watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted.(AV) Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.(AW) For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing,(AX) he deceives himself. Let each person examine his own work,(AY) and then he can take pride in himself alone, and not compare himself with someone else. For each person will have to carry his own load.

Let the one who is taught the word share(AZ) all his good things with the teacher. Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a person sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit(BA) will reap eternal life(BB) from the Spirit. Let us not get tired(BC) of doing good,(BD) for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us work(BE) for the good(BF) of all, especially for those who belong to the household(BG) of faith.(BH)

Concluding Exhortation

11 Look at what large letters I use as I write to you in my own handwriting. 12 Those who want to make a good impression in the flesh(BI) are the ones who would compel you to be circumcised(BJ)—but only to avoid being persecuted(BK) for the cross(BL) of Christ. 13 For even the circumcised don’t keep(BM) the law themselves, and yet they want you to be circumcised in order to boast about your flesh. 14 But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world. 15 For[i] both circumcision and uncircumcision(BN) mean nothing; what matters instead is a new creation.(BO) 16 May peace come to all those who follow this standard, and mercy even to the Israel(BP) of God![j]

17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, because I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.(BQ) 18 Brothers and sisters, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.(BR) Amen.

Footnotes

  1. 5:7 Or obeying the truth
  2. 5:9 Or yeast
  3. 5:13 Lit a pretext; a military term for abuse of position
  4. 5:14 Lv 19:18
  5. 5:19 Other mss add adultery,
  6. 5:21 Other mss add murders,
  7. 5:23 Or Against such things there is no law
  8. 6:1 Or with the Spirit of gentleness
  9. 6:15 Other mss add in Christ Jesus
  10. 6:16 Or And for those who follow this standard, may peace and mercy be upon them, even upon the Israel of God, or And as many who will follow this standard, peace be upon them and mercy even upon the Israel of God.

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