So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law.
Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ cannot help you.
I'll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey all of the regulations in the whole law of Moses.
For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God's grace.
But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive everything promised to us who are right with God through faith.
For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, it makes no difference to God whether we are circumcised or not circumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
You were getting along so well. Who has interfered with you to hold you back from following the truth?
It certainly isn't God, for he is the one who called you to freedom.
But it takes only one wrong person among you to infect all the others -- a little yeast spreads quickly through the whole batch of dough!
I am trusting the Lord to bring you back to believing as I do about these things. God will judge that person, whoever it is, who has been troubling and confusing you.
Dear brothers and sisters, a if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised -- as some say I do -- why would the Jews persecute me? The fact that I am still being persecuted proves that I am still preaching salvation through the cross of Christ alone.
I only wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves. b13
For you have been called to live in freedom -- not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love.
For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." c15
But if instead of showing love among yourselves you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.
So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves.
The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.
But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law.
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure,
idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group,
envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.
If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.
Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)