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Keep Your Freedom

Christ set us free ·so that we could live in freedom [to a place of freedom; or by means of freedom; 4:31]. So stand strong. Do not ·change and go back into the slavery of the law [L submit/be fastened to a yoke of slavery]. Listen, I Paul tell you that if you ·go back to the law by being [L let yourself be] circumcised, Christ does you no good. Again, I warn every man: If you allow yourselves to be circumcised, you ·must follow [are obligated to obey] all the law. If you try to be ·made right with God [justified] through the law, ·your life with Christ is over [L you are alienated/separated/severed from Christ]—you have ·left [fallen away from] God’s grace. For by the Spirit and through faith we wait eagerly for ·a right relationship with God [L righteousness]—the object of our hope. ·When we are [L For] in Christ Jesus, ·it is not important if we are circumcised or not [L neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything]. The important thing is faith—the kind of faith that works through love.

You were running a good race. Who ·stopped [hindered] you from ·following [or obeying; or your conviction about] the ·true way [truth]? This ·change [persuasion; enticement] did not come from the One who ·chose [called] you. Be careful! “Just a little ·yeast [leaven; 1 Cor. 5:6–7] makes the whole batch of dough rise [C a little error will spread through the whole community].” 10 But I ·trust [L have confidence/am persuaded about you] in the Lord that you will ·not believe those different ideas [take no different view]. Whoever is ·confusing [troubling] you with such ideas will ·be punished [pay the penalty; L bear the condemnation], ·no matter who he is [L whoever he may be].

11 My brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching ·that a man must be circumcised [L circumcision; C some were evidently accusing Paul of this], why am I still being ·attacked [persecuted]? If I still taught circumcision, ·my preaching about the cross would not be a problem [the scandal/offense of the cross has been removed/abolished]. 12 I wish the people who are bothering you would ·castrate themselves [make themselves eunuchs; L cut it off]! [C Paul sarcastically says that if circumcision is so helpful, why not go even further?]

13 My brothers and sisters, God called you to ·be free [L freedom], but do not use your freedom as an ·excuse to do what pleases [opportunity/occasion for] your ·sinful self [sinful nature; flesh]. [L But; Rather] Serve each other with love. 14 [L For] The whole law is ·made complete [summed up; fulfilled] in this one command: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself [Lev. 19:18].” 15 [L But] If you go on ·hurting each other and tearing each other apart [L biting and devouring one another], be careful, or you will completely ·destroy [or consume] each other.

The Spirit and Human Nature

16 So I tell you: ·Live [Walk] ·by following [guided by; in the power of; L by] the Spirit. Then you will not do what your ·sinful self [sinful nature; T flesh] ·wants [desires; craves]. 17 Our ·sinful self [sinful nature; T flesh] ·wants [desires] what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit ·wants [desires] what is against our ·sinful self [sinful nature; T flesh]. [L For] The two are ·against [opposed to; or hostile toward] each other, so you cannot do just what you ·please [want]. 18 But if the Spirit is leading you, you are not under the law.

19 The ·wrong things the sinful self does [works of the flesh/sinful nature] are ·clear [evident; obvious]: ·being sexually unfaithful [sexual immorality], ·not being pure [impurity], ·taking part in sexual sins [depravity; promiscuity], 20 ·worshiping gods [idolatry], ·doing witchcraft [sorcery], ·hating [hostility; antagonism], ·making trouble [discord; strife], being jealous, ·being angry [rage], ·being selfish [rivalries], ·making people angry with each other [dissensions], ·causing divisions among people [factions], 21 feeling envy, being drunk, ·having wild and wasteful parties [carousings; orgies], and doing other things like these. I warn you now as I warned you before: Those who do these things will not inherit God’s kingdom. 22 But the ·Spirit produces the fruit of [L fruit of the Spirit is] love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, ·faithfulness [or faith], 23 gentleness, self-control. ·There is no law that says these things are wrong [or No law can oppose such things]. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified ·their own sinful selves [the sinful nature; the flesh]. They have given up ·their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do [L its passions and desires]. 25 ·We [L If/Since we…] ·get our new life from the Spirit [live by the Spirit], so we should ·follow [be guided by; walk in step with] the Spirit. 26 We must not be ·proud [conceited] or ·make trouble with [provoke] each other or be ·jealous [envious] of each other.

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