Galatians

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Galatians 1 1 Paul, an apostle, appointed not by men nor through man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father who raised him from among the dead, 2 and all the brethren with me, to the assemblies of Galatia. 3 Grace to you, and peace, from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins, so that he might liberate us from this present corrupt age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom is the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

6 I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking Christ, who called you into his own grace, to follow a different gospel, 7 though there is no other, but some, who are determined to negate the gospel of Christ, are subverting you. 8 But if we, or even an angel from heaven, should bring a gospel to you other than the one we proclaimed to you, may he be damned! 9 As we used to say before, and I’m now saying again, if anyone brings you a gospel contrary to what you accepted, let him be damned!

10 Do I seek favour with people now, or God? Or do I seek to please people? If I have been pleasing people, I would not have been the slave of Christ. 11 But I can assure you, brethren, that the gospel I preached was not man’s invention 12 as I didn’t receive it from any man, nor was I taught it by men, but by revelation from Jesus Christ. 13 For you will have heard about my past conduct in Judaism, how I hounded and devastated the assembly of God beyond measure, 14 and I excelled in Judaism beyond many of my associates among my people, being far more zealous for the customs of my fathers. 15 But God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, delighted 16 to reveal his Son in me that I might announce him as good news to the Gentiles.

Immediately, without conferring with flesh and blood, 17 nor even going to those in Jerusalem who were apostles before me, I went away to Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus. 18 Three years later I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him for fifteen days. 19 I met none of the other apostles apart from James, the Lord’s brother. 20 (With regard to what I’m writing, before God, I am not lying!) 21 After that I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, 22 my face unknown to the assemblies of Christ in Judea. 23 They simply heard, “the man who once persecuted us is now spreading the good news—the faith he once devastated,” 24 and they glorified God on my account.

Galatians 2 1 Then, fourteen years later I went up to Jerusalem again with Barnabas, and took Titus with me too. 2 I went in obedience to a revelation and explained to them the gospel I preach among the Gentiles, in case somehow I should run or had run [the race] for nothing; but only to those considered to be of some eminence, 3 and not even Titus, who accompanied me, was forced to be circumcised, despite being a Greek. 4 This was because some false brethren were brought in secretly, sneaking in to spy out the liberty we have in Christ Jesus, in order to enslave us, 5 to whom we did not give way for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel would be preserved for you.

6 Yet those who seemed to be important—whatever they may have been is of no consequence to me as God recognises no man’s position—the ones who were respected added nothing to my interpretation. 7 To the contrary, they saw that I had been tasked with taking the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the circumcised, 8 since he who was at work in Peter as apostle to the circumcised was also operating in me for the Gentiles. 9 Recognising the grace given to me, James, Cephas and John—who were regarded as pillars—extended the right hand of fellowship to me and Barnabas, and concurred that we should go to the nations while they would go to the circumcised. 10 They just wanted us to remember the poor—exactly what I was zealous to do.

11 But when Peter came to Antioch I confronted him, as he was in the wrong 12 as, until a number of men came from James, he ate with the Gentile believers, but once they came he pulled back and separated himself from them, in fear of the Jews, 13 so the other Jewish believers joined him in his hypocrisy. Even Barnabas was drawn into their error.

14 So when I saw that their behaviour was not straight in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If, though you are Jewish, you now live as the Gentiles do and not as the Jews, why are you forcing the Gentiles to live as Jews? 15 Unlike the Gentile ‘sinners,’ we Jews by birth 16 have learned that man is not justified by performing the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, so we have put our faith in Christ Jesus, so we would be justified by the faith of Christ and not by carrying out the law, because no one will be justified by obeying the law.”

17 So if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we are found to be sinners, would that mean Christ accommodates sin? Of course not! 18 If I rebuild what I demolished, I prove myself a sinner, 19 for through the law I died to the law, so I could live to God. 20 I am crucified with Christ and live no more, but Christ lives in me, so now I live in my body by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me 21 so I don’t frustrate the grace of God. For if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nothing.

Galatians 3 1 Undiscerning Galatians! Who is bewitching you to disbelieve the truth before your eyes, when in your midst Jesus Christ was clearly shown as crucified? 2 All I want to learn from you is: did you receive the Spirit by obeying the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 You are so foolish! If you start in the Spirit, how can you reach perfection in the flesh? 4 You have suffered so much to no purpose; if it was to no purpose.

5 So then, does he who gives you the Spirit and works among you in power, do so because you obey the law, or because you believed what you heard, 6 just as Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness? 7 Know then, that those who believe are the ones descended from Abraham 8 as scripture foretold that God would justify the Gentiles by faith when he gave Abraham the good news that, “all nations will be blessed in you,” 9 so those who believe are blessed together with Abraham who believed. 10 But whoever lives by the law is under a curse, as it is written, “everyone who doesn’t fulfill everything written in the scroll of the law is under a curse,” 11 and it is clear that no one can be justified before God by the law since, “by faith the righteous will live,” 12 and the law is not by faith since, “the one who follows the laws will live by [perfectly fulfilling] them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming that curse on our behalf, for it is written, “everyone who is hanged from a tree is cursed,” 14 so that Abraham’s blessing would come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, and we could obtain the promised Spirit by faith.

15 Brethren, in ordinary life, even with human covenants no one can augment or nullify them once ratified, 16 and the promises were given to Abraham and his Seed. It doesn’t say “and to seeds,” meaning many, but “and to your Seed,” meaning just one, the Christ. 17 What I am saying is that the law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, cannot cancel the covenant previously confirmed by God in Christ, and thus invalidate the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is by the law it is no longer by the promise; but God graciously grants it, in accordance with the promise to Abraham.

19 So what is the law for? It was added to expose violations until the coming of the Seed to whom the promise was made. It was appointed through angels in the hand of a mediator, 20 and no mediator reconciles just one—but God is one. 21 So is the law at odds with the promises of God? Of course not—if the given law had been able to impart life, righteousness really would have been by the law. 22 But Scripture held everyone captive to sin, so that the promise, gained by the faith of Jesus Christ, could be given to those who believe. 23 And before the faith came we were imprisoned by the law, held captive for the faith about to be revealed. 24 So the law became our warder, conducting us to Christ, so we could be justified by faith, 25 and since the faith has come we are no longer under guard, 26 for you are all children of God through the faith [which is] in Christ Jesus.

27 All who were baptized into Christ clothed themselves with Christ: 28 there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, not even male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus, 29 and if you belong to Christ, then you are the Seed of Abraham, and heirs in line with the promise. Galatians 4 1 What I’m saying is that, while the heir is a child he is no more influential than a slave: though he is master of the estate 2 he remains subject to guardians and governors until the time set by his father. 3 So we too, when we were children, were enslaved under the principles of the world, 4 but when the time was completed, God sent his Son, born of a woman and born under law, 5 to redeem those under the law so we could gain the position of sons. 6 And since you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying “Abba, Father,” 7 so you are no longer a slave but a son; and since you’re a son, you’re also an heir of God, through Christ.

8 Before, having no knowledge of God, you were enslaved to things that, by their very nature, are not gods, 9 but now, knowing God, or rather being known by God, how are you turning back to those powerless and bankrupt religious principles, willing to be freshly enslaved? 10 You are observing special days, months, seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that my efforts among you could have been futile. 12 Become as I am, because I am just the same as you. Let no one hurt me in this, brethren, I beg you, 13 since you know that from the beginning I have always preached the good news to you from the weakness of my flesh, 14 and that testing in my flesh you neither dismissed nor rejected, but received me as a messenger of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 Where, then, is the joyful gratitude you had? I declare that, if you could, you would have taken out your eyes and given them to me!

16 So have I become your enemy by speaking truth to you? 17 They zealously desire you, not for good but to separate you from us, so that you may zealously follow them, 18 though it is good to be zealous, but for good always, and not just when I’m with you. 19 My little ones, with whom I am again in labour until Christ is formed in you, 20 I wish I could be with you now and change my tone as I am at a loss regarding you.

21 Tell me, you who want to be under law: don’t you hear what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the servant girl and one by the free woman. 23 The one by the maid was born of the flesh, but the one by the free woman was through the promise. 24 This is allegorical: these women are the two covenants. The one from Mount Sinai produces offspring into slavery, which is Hagar, 25 for Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to today’s Jerusalem which is in bondage with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and is our mother, 27 for it is written, “rejoice, you barren woman who cannot give birth; bring forth a shout of joy, you who don’t labour; as the desolate woman will have many more children than she who has a husband.”

28 Now we, brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise 29 but, just as then the one born by the flesh persecuted the one born by the Spirit, so it is now. 30 And what does scripture say? Drive out the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son can never be heir with the free woman’s son. 31 So, brethren, we are not offspring of the slave woman but of the free. Galatians 5 1 Christ has freed us, so stand firm in that freedom, and never again take up slavery’s yoke. 2 Take note! I, Paul, tell you that if you resort to circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 I testify again to every man who gets circumcised that he is obligated to keep all the law, 4 and whoever tries to be justified by the law has fallen from grace, so you are cut off from Christ. 5 For we, by faith through the Spirit, await in expectation of righteousness, 6 since, in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision matters, but faith, working through love.

7 You were running well. Who hindered you from following the truth? 8 This leading is not from he who calls you—9 “A little leaven leavens the whole lump”—10 I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will support no other view; but, whoever he may be, the one who is disturbing you will face judgment. 11 But brethren, if I were still preaching circumcision, why do I continue to be persecuted? For that would remove the offense of the cross. 12 If only those interfering with you would cut themselves away! 13 For you were called to freedom, brethren, not freedom to express the flesh, but to serve one another in love. 14 All the law is contained in one precept: “You shall love your fellow man as yourself,” 15 and if you wound and devour one another, look out that you are not destroyed by each other.

16 I’m saying walk in the Spirit, and you won’t fulfil the cravings of the flesh! 17 For the flesh craves in the same way as the Spirit, and the Spirit as the flesh, but they are in opposition to each other, so you don’t do what you intend, 18 but if the Spirit is leading you, you are not subject to the law. 19 The works of the flesh are obvious: they are adultery, immorality, impurity, filthy words and works, 20 idolatry, pagan rituals, malice, conflict, jealousy, rage, rivalry, divisiveness, sectarianism, 21 enviousness, murder, intoxication, revelling, and so on. As I told you before, so I warn you again, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness and self-restraint. Against things like this there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and cravings. 25 If we have life in the Spirit, we should also conduct our lives by the Spirit, 26 and not become self-important, provoking and envying each other.

Galatians 6 1 Brethren, if ever a man is caught off guard by some sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore him in a spirit of gentle humility, and watch yourself that you are not tempted too. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ, 3 for if anyone imagines himself significant, he’s deluding himself, as he’s not. 4 Let each one ratify his own work, so he can be pleased in himself, and not take credit for the work of others, 5 for everyone must pull their weight. 6 Let the one instructed in the word share all good things with his instructor—7 don’t be deceived, God is not mocked—whatever a man sows is what he will reap: 8 he who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but he who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9 So don’t be intimidated in doing good, for at the right time we will reap our own if we don’t quit.

10 Therefore, as opportunities arise, we do good to all, particularly members of the family of faith. 11 See how serious is this letter that I’ve written to you. 12 Those coercing you to be circumcised are determined to impress in the flesh, but only to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ, 13 and they don’t keep the law, despite being circumcised, but they want to have you circumcised so they can boast of your flesh.

14 May it never be that I boast, save for the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world is crucified to me, and I to the world, 15 for circumcision is of no value, nor uncircumcision, just the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy will be on all who live by this standard, and on the Israel of God. 17 Of the rest, no one troubles me, since I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.