Galatians 5 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. 1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
2 I am emphatic about this. The moment any one of you submits to circumcision or any other rule-keeping system, at that same moment Christ's hard-won gift of freedom is squandered. 2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.
3 I repeat my warning: The person who accepts the ways of circumcision trades all the advantages of the free life in Christ for the obligations of the slave life of the law. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.
4 I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. 4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
5 Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. 5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
6 For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
7 You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience? 7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?
8 This detour doesn't come from the One who called you into the race in the first place. 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.
9 And please don't toss this off as insignificant. It only takes a minute amount of yeast, you know, to permeate an entire loaf of bread. 9 "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough."
10 Deep down, the Master has given me confidence that you will not defect. But the one who is upsetting you, whoever he is, will bear the divine judgment. 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be.
11 As for the rumor that I continue to preach the ways of circumcision (as I did in those pre-Damascus Road days), that is absurd. Why would I still be persecuted, then? If I were preaching that old message, no one would be offended if I mentioned the Cross now and then - it would be so watered-down it wouldn't matter one way or the other. 11 Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.
12 Why don't these agitators, obsessive as they are about circumcision, go all the way and castrate themselves! 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
13 It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don't use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows. 13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
14 For everything we know about God's Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That's an act of true freedom. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
15 If you bite and ravage each other, watch out - in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then? 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God's Spirit. Then you won't feed the compulsions of selfishness. 16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
17 For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
18 Why don't you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence? 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
19 It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
20 trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
21 the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom. 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard - things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
24 Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good - crucified. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
25 Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
26 That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.