New American Standard Bible
Follow the Spirit
2 Look! I, (D)Paul, tell you that if you have yourselves (E)circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 And I (F)testify again to every man who has himself (G)circumcised, that he is obligated to (H)keep the whole Law. 4 You have been severed from Christ, you who [a]are seeking to be justified by the [b]Law; you have (I)fallen from grace. 5 For we, [c]through the Spirit, [d]by faith, are (J)waiting for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in (K)Christ Jesus (L)neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but (M)faith working through love.
7 You were (N)running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion did not come from (O)Him who calls you. 9 (P)A little [e]leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. 10 (Q)I have confidence [f]in you in the Lord, that you (R)will adopt no other view; but the one who is (S)disturbing you will bear the punishment, whoever he is. 11 But as for me, brothers and sisters, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still (T)persecuted? Then (U)the stumbling block of the cross has been eliminated. 12 I wish that (V)those who are troubling you would even [g](W)emasculate themselves.
13 For you were called to (X)freedom, brothers and sisters; (Y)only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but (Z)serve one another through love. 14 For (AA)the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “(AB)You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you (AC)bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
16 But I say, (AD)walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out (AE)the desire of the flesh. 17 For (AF)the desire of the flesh is against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, (AG)in order to keep you from doing whatever you want. 18 But if you are (AH)led by the Spirit, (AI)you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: (AJ)sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, 20 idolatry, (AK)witchcraft, hostilities, (AL)strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, (AM)selfish ambition, dissensions, (AN)factions, 21 envy, (AO)drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not (AP)inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But (AQ)the fruit of the Spirit is (AR)love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, (AS)self-control; against such things (AT)there is no law. 24 Now those who [h]belong to (AU)Christ Jesus (AV)crucified the flesh with its passions and (AW)desires.
Bear One Another’s Burdens
6 (AZ)Brothers and sisters, even if a person is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are (BA)spiritual are to (BB)restore such a person (BC)in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you are not tempted as well. 2 (BD)Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill (BE)the law of Christ. 3 For (BF)if anyone thinks that he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But each one must (BG)examine his own work, and then he will have reason for (BH)boasting, but [i]to himself alone, and not [j]to another. 5 For (BI)each one will bear his own load.
6 (BJ)The one who is taught (BK)the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. 7 (BL)Do not be deceived, (BM)God is not mocked; for (BN)whatever a person sows, this he will also reap. 8 (BO)For the one who sows to his own flesh will reap (BP)destruction from the flesh, but (BQ)the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9 (BR)Let’s not become discouraged in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we (BS)do not become weary. 10 So then, [k](BT)while we have opportunity, let’s do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the (BU)household of (BV)the faith.
11 See with what large letters I have written to you (BW)with my own hand! 12 All who want (BX)to make a good showing in the flesh try to (BY)compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they (BZ)will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For those who [l]are circumcised do not even (CA)keep [m]the Law themselves, but they want to have you circumcised so that they may (CB)boast in your flesh. 14 But (CC)[n]far be it from me to boast, (CD)except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, (CE)through [o]which the world has been crucified to me, and (CF)I to the world. 15 For (CG)neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a (CH)new [p]creation. 16 And all who will follow this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the (CI)Israel of God.
- Galatians 5:4 Or would be
- Galatians 5:4 Or law
- Galatians 5:5 Lit by
- Galatians 5:5 Lit out of
- Galatians 5:9 I.e., fermented dough
- Galatians 5:10 Lit toward
- Galatians 5:12 Or cut themselves off
- Galatians 5:24 Lit are of Christ Jesus
- Galatians 6:4 Or in regard to
- Galatians 6:4 Or in regard to
- Galatians 6:10 Or as
- Galatians 6:13 Two early mss have been
- Galatians 6:13 Or law
- Galatians 6:14 Lit may it never be for
- Galatians 6:14 Or whom
- Galatians 6:15 Or creature
- Galatians 6:17 I.e., scars and other evidence of persecution
Walk by the Spirit
5 It was for this freedom that Christ set us free [completely liberating us]; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery [which you once removed].
2 Notice, it is I, Paul, who tells you that if you receive circumcision [as a supposed requirement of salvation], Christ will be of no benefit to you [for you will lack the faith in Christ that is necessary for salvation]. 3 Once more I solemnly affirm to every man who receives circumcision [as a supposed requirement of salvation], that he is under obligation and required to keep the whole Law. 4 You have been severed from Christ, if you seek to be [a]justified [that is, declared free of the guilt of sin and its penalty, and placed in right standing with God] through the Law; you have fallen from grace [for you have lost your grasp on God’s unmerited favor and blessing]. 5 For we [not relying on the Law but] through the [strength and power of the Holy] Spirit, by faith, are waiting [confidently] for the hope of righteousness [the completion of our salvation]. 6 For [if we are] in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but only faith activated and expressed and working through love.
7 You were running [the race] well; who has interfered and prevented you from obeying the truth? 8 This [deceptive] persuasion is not from Him who called you [to freedom in Christ]. 9 A little [b]leaven [a slight inclination to error, or a few false teachers] leavens the whole batch [it perverts the concept of faith and misleads the church]. 10 I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view [contrary to mine on the matter]; but the one who is disturbing you, whoever he is, will have to bear the penalty. 11 But as for me, [c]brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision [as I had done before I met Christ; and as [d]some accuse me of doing now, as necessary for salvation], why am I still being persecuted [by Jews]? In that case the stumbling block of the cross [to unbelieving Jews] has been abolished. 12 I wish that those who are troubling you [by teaching that circumcision is necessary for salvation] would even [go all the way and] castrate themselves!
13 For you, my brothers, were called to freedom; only do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the [e]sinful nature (worldliness, selfishness), but through [f]love serve and seek the best for one another. 14 For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is fulfilled in one precept, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, you shall have an unselfish concern for others and do things for their benefit].”(A) 15 But if you bite and devour one another [in bickering and strife], watch out that you [along with your entire fellowship] are not consumed by one another.
16 But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the [g]sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts]. 17 For the sinful nature has its desire which is opposed to the Spirit, and the [desire of the] Spirit opposes the [h]sinful nature; for these [two, the sinful nature and the Spirit] are in direct opposition to each other [continually in conflict], so that you [as believers] do not [always] do whatever [good things] you want to do. 18 But if you are guided and led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the Law. 19 Now the practices of the [i]sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), 20 [j]idolatry, [k]sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies], 21 envy, drunkenness, riotous behavior, and other things like these. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the [l]sinful nature together with its passions and appetites.
25 If we [claim to] live by the [Holy] Spirit, we must also walk by the Spirit [with personal integrity, godly character, and moral courage—our conduct empowered by the Holy Spirit]. 26 We must not become conceited, challenging or provoking one another, envying one another.
Bear One Another’s Burdens
6 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any sin, you who are spiritual [that is, you who are responsive to the guidance of the Spirit] are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness [not with a sense of superiority or self-righteousness], keeping a watchful eye on yourself, so that you are not tempted as well. 2 Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the requirements of the law of Christ [that is, the law of Christian love].(B) 3 For if anyone thinks he is something [special] when [in fact] he is nothing [special except in his own eyes], he deceives himself. 4 But each one must carefully scrutinize his own work [examining his actions, attitudes, and behavior], and then he can have the personal satisfaction and inner joy of doing something commendable [m]without comparing himself to another. 5 For every person will have to bear [with patience] his own burden [of faults and shortcomings for which he alone is responsible].
6 The one who is taught the word [of God] is to share all good things with his teacher [contributing to his spiritual and material support]. 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap. 8 For the one who sows to his flesh [his sinful capacity, his worldliness, his disgraceful impulses] will reap from the flesh ruin and destruction, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in. 10 So then, while we [as individual believers] have the opportunity, let us do good to all people [not only being helpful, but also doing that which promotes their spiritual well-being], and especially [be a blessing] to those of the household of faith (born-again believers).
11 See with what [n]large letters I [o]am writing to you with my own hand. 12 Those who want to make a good impression in public [before the Jews] try to compel you to be circumcised, just so they will escape being persecuted for [faithfulness to] the cross of Christ. 13 For even the circumcised [Jews] themselves do not [really] keep the Law, but they want to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh [that is, in the fact that they convinced you to be circumcised]. 14 But far be it from me to boast [in anything or anyone], except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither is circumcision anything [of any importance], nor uncircumcision, but [only] a new creation [which is the result of a new birth—a spiritual transformation—a new nature in Christ Jesus]. 16 Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule [who discipline themselves and conduct their lives by this principle], and upon the [true] Israel of God (Jewish believers).(C)
17 From now on let no one trouble me [by making it necessary for me to justify my authority as an apostle, and the absolute truth of the gospel], for I bear on my body the [p]branding-marks of Jesus [the wounds, scars, and other outward evidence of persecutions—these testify to His ownership of me].
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, my [q]brothers and sisters. Amen.
- Galatians 5:4 See note 2:16.
- Galatians 5:9 Leaven (yeasty dough) represents the man-made tradition and false teachings that obscure the truth regarding salvation through personal belief and faith in Christ.
- Galatians 5:11 Lit brethren.
- Galatians 5:11 Paul’s opponents in Galatia were trying to support their own arguments for circumcision by claiming that Paul was actually in favor of it. They probably knew that he had circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:3) and were taking advantage of that fact.
- Galatians 5:13 Lit flesh.
- Galatians 5:13 The key to understanding this and other statements about love is to know that this love (the Greek word agape) is not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person, that is, having an unselfish concern for another and a willingness to seek the best for another.
- Galatians 5:16 Lit flesh.
- Galatians 5:17 Lit flesh.
- Galatians 5:19 Lit flesh.
- Galatians 5:20 Including prostitution, which was often part of pagan ritual.
- Galatians 5:20 Including such things as occult practices, witchcraft, worship of evil powers, drug-induced trances.
- Galatians 5:24 Lit flesh.
- Galatians 6:4 Lit to himself alone and not to.
- Galatians 6:11 Paul frequently dictated his letters to a secretary (such as Tertius, Rom 16:22). In this case, however, he applied the ink himself. His reference to “large letters” has been variously interpreted: (1) Paul may have been using large print for emphasis; or (2) Paul may have been referring to some problem with his vision (cf 4:15).
- Galatians 6:11 Or I have written.
- Galatians 6:17 Gr stigmata.
- Galatians 6:18 Lit brethren.