Live in the Freedom That Christ Gives You
1 Christ has freed us so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom. Therefore, be firm ⸤in this freedom⸥, and don’t become slaves again.
2 I, Paul, can guarantee that if you allow yourselves to be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 Again, I insist that everyone who allows himself to be circumcised must realize that he obligates himself to do everything Moses’ Teachings demand. 4 Those of you who try to earn God’s approval by obeying his laws have been cut off from Christ. You have fallen out of God’s favor.a 5 However, in our spiritual nature, faith causes us to wait eagerly for the confidence that comes with God’s approval. 6 As far as our relationship to Christ Jesus is concerned, it doesn’t matter whether we are circumcised or not. But what matters is a faith that expresses itself through love.
7 You were doing so well. Who stopped you from being influenced by the truth? 8 The arguments of the person who is influencing you do not come from the one who is calling you. 9 A little yeast spreads through the whole batch of dough. 10 The Lord gives me confidence that you will not disagree with this. However, the one who is confusing you will suffer God’s judgment regardless of who he is. 11 Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching that circumcision is necessary, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the cross wouldn’t be offensive anymore. 12 I wish those troublemakers would castrate themselves.
13 You were indeed called to be free, brothers and sisters. Don’t turn this freedom into an excuse for your corrupt nature to express itself. Rather, serve each other through love. 14 All of Moses’ Teachings are summarized in a single statement, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” 15 But if you criticize and attack each other, be careful that you don’t destroy each other.
16 Let me explain further. Live your life as your spiritual nature directs you. Then you will never follow through on what your corrupt nature wants. 17 What your corrupt nature wants is contrary to what your spiritual nature wants, and what your spiritual nature wants is contrary to what your corrupt nature wants. They are opposed to each other. As a result, you don’t always do what you intend to do. 18 If your spiritual nature is your guide, you are not subject to Moses’ laws.
19 Now, the effects of the corrupt nature are obvious: illicit sex, perversion, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, drug use, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, conflict, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild partying, and similar things. I’ve told you in the past and I’m telling you again that people who do these kinds of things will not inherit God’s kingdom.
22 But the spiritual nature produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There are no laws against things like that. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their corrupt nature along with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by our spiritual nature, then our lives need to conform to our spiritual nature. 26 We can’t allow ourselves to act arrogantly and to provoke or envy each other.
About GOD’S WORD Translation
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) communicates the saving, life-changing Good News about Jesus in clear, natural English. Translated directly from the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek by a committee of scholars, GOD’S WORD is an exceptional Bible that consciously combines scholarly fidelity with natural English.
By implementing the translation principles of Closest Natural Equivalence, the translation committee seeks to translate the best available texts into English with the closest possible accuracy. This commitment to accurately translating the Bible includes expressing the meaning naturally and in a style that preserves the characteristics of the source text.
The combination of accuracy and readability makes GOD’S WORD ideally suited for the following:
Devotional reading and in-depth study
Preaching, teaching, and worship
Scripture references from GOD’S WORD are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.
Up to 500 verses from GOD’S WORD may be quoted in any form (printed, written, visual, electronic, or audio) without written permission, provided that no more than half of any one book is quoted, and the verses quoted do not amount to more than 25% of the text of the work in which they are quoted.
The designation (GOD’S WORD) must always appear after each quotation. In addition, if the quotation is used in a work that is not for sale, the work must bear the following notice either on the title page or reverse thereof of each copy, or in a location where it can be readily perceived by the reader:
GOD’S WORD is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. Quotations are used by permission.
If used in a work that is for sale, the following copyright notice must be used:
GOD’S WORD is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.
For quotation of over 500 verses and/or questions about these policies, contact God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society, P.O. Box 26343, Cleveland, Ohio 44126-0343, U.S.A.