Psalm 87; Galatians 5; Galatians 6; Psalm 88; Psalm 89 (New International Version)

Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. A song.

1 He has set his foundation on the holy mountain; 2 the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. 3 Glorious things are said of you, O city of God: "Selah" 4 "I will record Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me-- Philistia too, and Tyre, along with Cush-- and will say, 'This one was born in Zion.' " 5 Indeed, of Zion it will be said, "This one and that one were born in her, and the Most High himself will establish her." 6 The LORD will write in the register of the peoples: "This one was born in Zion." "Selah" 7 As they make music they will sing, "All my fountains are in you."

Freedom in Christ

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 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 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 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 a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough." 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 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 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! 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 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

Life by the Spirit

16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 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 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 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 the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Doing Good to All

1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5 for each one should carry his own load. 6 Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. 7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Not Circumcision but a New Creation

11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand! 12 Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh. 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God. 17 Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.

A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah. For the director of music. According to "mahalath leannoth." A "maskil" of Heman the Ezrahite.

1 O LORD, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you. 2 May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry. 3 For my soul is full of trouble and my life draws near the grave. 4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like a man without strength. 5 I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care. 6 You have put me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths. 7 Your wrath lies heavily upon me; you have overwhelmed me with all your waves. "Selah" 8 You have taken from me my closest friends and have made me repulsive to them. I am confined and cannot escape; 9 my eyes are dim with grief. I call to you, O LORD, every day; I spread out my hands to you. 10 Do you show your wonders to the dead? Do those who are dead rise up and praise you? "Selah" 11 Is your love declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Destruction ? 12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness, or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion? 13 But I cry to you for help, O LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you. 14 Why, O LORD, do you reject me and hide your face from me? 15 From my youth I have been afflicted and close to death; I have suffered your terrors and am in despair. 16 Your wrath has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me. 17 All day long they surround me like a flood; they have completely engulfed me. 18 You have taken my companions and loved ones from me; the darkness is my closest friend.

A "maskil" of Ethan the Ezrahite.

1 I will sing of the LORD's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. 2 I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself. 3 You said, "I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant, 4 'I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.' " "Selah" 5 The heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones. 6 For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings? 7 In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him. 8 O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you. 9 You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them. 10 You crushed Rahab like one of the slain; with your strong arm you scattered your enemies. 11 The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it. 12 You created the north and the south; Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name. 13 Your arm is endued with power; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted. 14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you. 15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD. 16 They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness. 17 For you are their glory and strength, and by your favor you exalt our horn. 18 Indeed, our shield belongs to the LORD, our king to the Holy One of Israel. 19 Once you spoke in a vision, to your faithful people you said: "I have bestowed strength on a warrior; I have exalted a young man from among the people. 20 I have found David my servant; with my sacred oil I have anointed him. 21 My hand will sustain him; surely my arm will strengthen him. 22 No enemy will subject him to tribute; no wicked man will oppress him. 23 I will crush his foes before him and strike down his adversaries. 24 My faithful love will be with him, and through my name his horn will be exalted. 25 I will set his hand over the sea, his right hand over the rivers. 26 He will call out to me, 'You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.' 27 I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth. 28 I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail. 29 I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure. 30 "If his sons forsake my law and do not follow my statutes, 31 if they violate my decrees and fail to keep my commands, 32 I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging; 33 but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness. 34 I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered. 35 Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness-- and I will not lie to David-- 36 that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun; 37 it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky." "Selah" 38 But you have rejected, you have spurned, you have been very angry with your anointed one. 39 You have renounced the covenant with your servant and have defiled his crown in the dust. 40 You have broken through all his walls and reduced his strongholds to ruins. 41 All who pass by have plundered him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors. 42 You have exalted the right hand of his foes; you have made all his enemies rejoice. 43 You have turned back the edge of his sword and have not supported him in battle. 44 You have put an end to his splendor and cast his throne to the ground. 45 You have cut short the days of his youth; you have covered him with a mantle of shame. "Selah" 46 How long, O LORD? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire? 47 Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all men! 48 What man can live and not see death, or save himself from the power of the grave ? "Selah" 49 O Lord, where is your former great love, which in your faithfulness you swore to David? 50 Remember, Lord, how your servant has been mocked, how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations, 51 the taunts with which your enemies have mocked, O LORD, with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one. 52 Praise be to the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.
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