preliminaries see chapter 1
Synopsis: falling back to rely again on circumcision
brings slavery to rule-keeping, but faith in Christ has set us
free to live and love as led by the Spirit, expressing Christ.]
Freedom in Christ
Life by the Spirit
Freedom in Christ
Synopsis: relying on circumcision [demanded by the Jewish Christians]
meant relying on rules again, giving in to deception and alienation
died to make us free so don't get enslaved by rules again)
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.
(I tell you
if you rely on circumcision, Christ won't mean anything to you)
my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised,
Christ will be of no value to you at all.
(if you rely
on circumcision you have to rely on the whole Law) Again
I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he
is obligated to obey the whole law.
(if you now
rely on the Law to be justified, you've become self-reliant, not
who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated
from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
in us looks forward to the fulness of the righteousness that is
our inheritance) For
through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness
for which we hope.
not you're circumcised is irrelevant, it's faith in Christ's love
in that counts) For
in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any
value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through
(you were doing
so well, whatever happened to you?) You
were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying
that lead you astray didn't come from God) That
kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.
(but one wrong
thought, one wrong sin, soon spreads) “A
little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.”
(I'm sure you'll
see this and those deceivers will have to pay) I
am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The
one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will
have to pay the penalty.
(I'm not preaching
circumcision any more, but the Cross, which is why I get persecuted
by them) Brothers
and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still
being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been
(I wish these
deceivers would cut themselves to pieces) As
for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate
Life by the Spirit
Synopsis: the call to love fulfils the Law and opens the way for
a life of freedom in the Spirit, where the character of Christ
(you were called
to freedom but not to indulge your desires, but to love others)
my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use
your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly
(the Law is
summed up in ‘love your neighbour as yourself') For
the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love
your neighbor as yourself.” [Lev.
(if you constantly
argue you'll destroy yourselves) If
you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed
by each other.
(so be led by
the Spirit, not carnal desires) So
I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires
of the flesh.
(the two things
are against each other) For
the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit
what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each
other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
(if you let
the Spirit lead you don't need to worry about rules) But
if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
life of the world is obvious and stops anyone entering the kingdom)
acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and
debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy,
fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 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
(the fruit of
the Spirit is quite opposite, expressing the goodness of Christ)
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such
things there is no law.
we have died to that desires-based life) Those
who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions
in the Spirt, let Him lead you) Since
we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
(and let's be
at peace with one another) Let
us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
to Chapter 6