Galatians 1; Galatians 2; Galatians 3

1 I, Paul, am writing this letter. I am an apostle. People have not sent me. No human authority has sent me. I have been sent by Jesus Christ and by God the Father. God raised Jesus from the dead. 2 All the brothers who are with me join me in writing. We are sending this letter to you, the members of the churches in Galatia. 3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. 4 Jesus gave his life for our sins. He set us free from this evil world. That was what our God and Father wanted. 5 Give glory to God for ever and ever. Amen. 6 I am amazed. You are so quickly deserting the One who chose you because of the grace that Christ has provided. You are turning to a different "good news." 7 What you are accepting is really not the good news at all. It seems that some people have gotten you all mixed up. They are trying to twist the good news about Christ. 8 But suppose even we should preach a different "good news." Suppose even an angel from heaven should preach it. I'm talking about a different one than the good news we gave you. Let anyone who does that be judged by God forever. 9 I have already said it. Now I will say it again. Anyone who preaches a "good news" that is different from the one you accepted should be judged by God forever. 10 Am I now trying to get people to think well of me? Or do I want God to think well of me? Am I trying to please people? If I were, I would not be serving Christ. 11 Brothers and sisters, here is what I want you to know. The good news I preached is not something a human being made up. 12 No one gave it to me. No one taught it to me. Instead, I received it from Jesus Christ. He showed it to me. 13 You have heard of my earlier way of life as a Jew. With all my strength I attacked the church of God. I tried to destroy it. 14 I was moving ahead in my Jewish way of life. I went beyond many Jews who were my own age. I held firmly to the teachings passed down by my people. 15 But God set me apart from the time I was born. He showed me his grace by appointing me. He was pleased 16 to show his Son in my life. He wanted me to preach about Jesus among those who aren't Jews. When God appointed me, I didn't talk to anyone. 17 I didn't go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went at once into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem. I went there to get to know Peter. I stayed with him for 15 days. 19 I didn't see any of the other apostles. I only saw James, the Lord's brother. 20 Here is what you can be sure of. And God gives witness to it. What I am writing you is not a lie. 21 Later I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 The members of Christ's churches in Judea did not know me in a personal way. 23 They only heard others say, "The man who used to attack us has changed. He is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy." 24 And they praised God because of me.
1 Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem. This time I went with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2 I went because God showed me what he wanted me to do. I told the people there the good news that I preach among those who aren't Jews. But I spoke in private to those who seemed to be leaders. I was afraid that I was running or had run my race for nothing. 3 Titus was with me. He was a Greek. But even he was not forced to be circumcised. 4 That matter came up because some who pretended to be believers had slipped in among us. They wanted to find out about the freedom we have because we belong to Christ Jesus. They wanted to make us slaves again. 5 We didn't give in to them for a moment. We wanted the truth of the good news to remain with you. 6 Some people in Jerusalem seemed to be important. It makes no difference to me what they were. God does not judge by what he sees on the outside. Those people added nothing to my message. 7 In fact, it was just the opposite. They saw that I had been trusted with the task of preaching the good news just as Peter had been. My task was to preach to the non-Jews. Peter's task was to preach to the Jews. 8 God was working through Peter as an apostle to the Jews. He was also working through me as an apostle to the non-Jews. 9 James, Peter and John are considered to be pillars in the church. They recognized the special grace that was given to me. So they shook my hand and the hand of Barnabas. They wanted to show they accepted us. They agreed that we should go to the non-Jews. They would go to the Jews. 10 They asked only one thing. They wanted us to continue to remember poor people. That was what I really wanted to do anyway. 11 When Peter came to Antioch, I told him to his face that I was against what he was doing. He was clearly wrong. 12 He used to eat with those who weren't Jews. But certain men came from the group that was led by James. When they arrived, Peter began to draw back. He separated himself from the non-Jews. He was afraid of the circumcision group. 13 Peter's actions were not honest. The other Jews joined him. Even Barnabas was led down the wrong path. 14 I saw what they were doing. It was not in line with the truth of the good news. So I spoke to Peter in front of them all. "You are a Jew," I said. "But you live like one who is not. So why do you force non-Jews to follow Jewish ways?" 15 We are Jews by birth. We are not "non-Jewish sinners." 16 We know that no one is made right with God by obeying the law. It is by believing in Jesus Christ. So we too have put our faith in Christ Jesus. That is so we can be made right with God by believing in Christ, not by obeying the law. No one can be made right with God by obeying the law. 17 We are trying to be made right with God through Christ. But it is clear that we are sinners. So does that mean that Christ causes us to sin? Certainly not! 18 Suppose I build again what I had destroyed. Then I prove that I break the Law. 19 Because of the law, I died as far as the law is concerned. I died so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. I don't live any longer. Christ lives in me. My faith in the Son of God helps me to live my life in my body. He loved me. He gave himself for me. 21 I do not get rid of the grace of God. What if a person could become right with God by obeying the law? Then Christ died for nothing!
1 You foolish people of Galatia! Who has put you under an evil spell? When I preached, I clearly showed you that Jesus Christ had been nailed to the cross. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you. Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law? Or did you receive the Spirit by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? You began with the Holy Spirit. Are you now trying to complete God's work in you by your own strength? 4 Have you suffered so much for nothing? And was it really for nothing? 5 Why does God give you his Spirit? Why does he work miracles among you? Is it because you do what the law says? Or is it because you believe what you have heard? 6 Think about Abraham. Scripture says, "Abraham believed God. God accepted Abraham because he believed. So his faith made him right with God."(Genesis 15:6) 7 So you see, those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Long ago, Scripture knew that God would make non-Jews right with himself by believing in him. He announced the good news ahead of time to Abraham. He said, "All nations will be blessed because of you."(Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 22:18) 9 So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham. He was the man of faith. 10 All who depend on obeying the law are under a curse. It is written, "May everyone who doesn't continue to do everything that is written in the Book of the Law be under God's curse."(Deuteronomy 27:26) 11 We know that no one is made right with God by keeping the law. Scripture says, "Those who are right with God will live by faith."(Habakkuk 2:4) 12 The law is not based on faith. In fact, it is just the opposite. It teaches that "the one who does those things will live by them."(Leviticus 18:5) 13 Christ set us free from the curse of the law. He did it by becoming a curse for us. It is written, "Everyone who is hung on a pole is under God's curse."(Deuteronomy 21:23) 14 Christ Jesus set us free so that the blessing given to Abraham would come to non-Jews through Christ. He did it so that we might receive the promise of the Holy Spirit by believing in Christ. 15 Brothers and sisters, let me give you an example from everyday life. No one can get rid of an official agreement between people. No one can add to it. It can't be changed after it has been made. It is the same with God's covenant. 16 The promises were given to Abraham. They were also given to his seed. Scripture does not say, "and to seeds." That means many people. It says, "and to your seed."(Genesis 12:7; 13:15; 24:7) That means one person. And that one person is Christ. 17 Here is what I mean. The law came 430 years after the promise. But the law does not get rid of God's covenant and promise. The covenant had already been made by God. So the law does not do away with the promise. 18 The great gift that God has for us does not depend on the law. If it did, it would no longer depend on a promise. But God gave it to Abraham as a free gift through a promise. 19 Then what was the purpose of the law? It was added because of human sin. And it was supposed to control us until the promised Seed had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a go-between. 20 A go-between does not take sides. God didn't use a go-between when he made his promise to Abraham. But the same God was at work in both the law and the promise. 21 So is the law opposed to God's promises? Certainly not! What if a law had been given that could give life? Then people could become right with God by obeying the law. 22 But Scripture announces that the whole world is a prisoner because of sin. It does so in order that what was promised might be given to those who believe. The promise comes through faith in Jesus Christ. 23 Before faith in Christ came, we were held prisoners by the law. We were locked up until faith was made known. 24 So the law was put in charge until Christ came. He came so that we might be made right with God by believing in Christ. 25 But now faith in Christ has come. So we are no longer under the control of the law. 26 You are all children of God by believing in Christ Jesus. 27 All of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ as if he were your clothes. 28 There is no Jew or Greek. There is no slave or free person. There is no male or female. Because you belong to Christ Jesus, you are all one. 29 You who belong to Christ are Abraham's seed. You will receive what God has promised.
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