Galatians 4

Paul Accepted by the Apostles

Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those lwho seemed influential) the gospel that mI proclaim among the Gentiles, nin order to make sure I was not running or had not orun in vain. But even Titus, who was with me, pwas not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. qYet because of false brothers secretly brought inwho rslipped in to spy out sour freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, tso that they might bring us into slavery to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that uthe truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. And from those vwho seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; wGod shows no partiality)those, I say, who seemed influential xadded nothing to me. On the contrary, when they saw that I had been yentrusted with zthe gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), and when James and Cephas and John, vwho seemed to be apillars, perceived the bgrace that was given to me, they cgave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, dthe very thing I was eager to do.

Paul Opposes Peter

11 But ewhen Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him fto his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, ghe was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing hthe circumcision party.1 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their iconduct was not in step with jthe truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas kbefore them all, If you, though a Jew, llive like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?

Justified by Faith

15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not mGentile sinners; 16 yet we know that na person is not justified2 by works of the law obut through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, pbecause by works of the law no one will be justified.

17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found qto be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I rdied to the law, so that I might slive to God. 20 I have been tcrucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives uin me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, vwho loved me and wgave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for xif righteousness3 were through the law, ythen Christ died for no purpose.

By Faith, or by Works of the Law?

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? zIt was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly aportrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: bDid you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by chearing with faith? Are you so foolish? dHaving begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by1 the flesh? eDid you suffer2 so many things in vainif indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and fworks miracles among you do so gby works of the law, or by hearing with faith just as hAbraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness?

Know then that it is ithose of faith who are jthe sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that kGod would justify3 the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, lIn you shall all the nations be blessed. So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

10 For all who rely on works of the law are munder a curse; for it is written, nCursed be everyone who does not oabide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them. 11 Now it is evident that pno one is justified before God by the law, for qThe righteous shall live by faith.4 12 But the law is not of faith, rather rThe one who does them shall live by them. 13 Christ sredeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for usfor it is written, tCursed is everyone who is hanged uon a tree 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might vcome to the Gentiles, so that wwe might receive xthe promised Spirit5 through faith.

The Law and the Promise

15 yTo give a human example, brothers:6 zeven with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16 Now athe promises were made bto Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, And to offsprings, referring to many, but referring to one, cAnd to your offspring, who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came d430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as eto make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but fGod gave it to Abraham by a promise.

19 Why then the law? gIt was added because of transgressions, huntil the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was iput in place through angels jby an intermediary. 20 Now kan intermediary implies more than one, but lGod is one.

21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For mif a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22 But the Scripture nimprisoned everything under sin, so that othe promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given pto those who believe.

23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, qimprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, rthe law was our sguardian until Christ came, tin order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus uyou are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as vwere baptized winto Christ have xput on Christ. 28 yThere is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave7 nor free, zthere is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And aif you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, bheirs according to promise.

Sons and Heirs

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave,1 though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, cwere enslaved to the elementary principles2 of the world. But dwhen the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, eborn fof woman, born gunder the law, hto redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive iadoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent jthe Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba! Father! So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then kan heir through God.

Paul's Concern for the Galatians

Formerly, when you ldid not know God, you mwere enslaved to those that by nature nare not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather oto be known by God, phow can you turn back again to qthe weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 rYou observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I am afraid sI may have labored over you in vain.

12 Brothers,3 tI entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. uYou did me no wrong. 13 You know it was vbecause of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you wat first, 14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me xas an angel of God, yas Christ Jesus. 15 What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I then become your enemy by ztelling you the truth?4 17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. 18 It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and anot only when I am present with you, 19 bmy little children, cfor whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ dis formed in you! 20 I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

Example of Hagar and Sarah

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, eone by a slave woman and fone by a free woman. 23 But gthe son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while hthe son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two icovenants. jOne is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia;5 she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But kthe Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,

lRejoice, O barren one who does not bear;

break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!

For the children of the desolate one will be more

than those of the one who has a husband.

28 Now you,6 brothers, mlike Isaac, nare children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh opersecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, pso also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? qCast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman. 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but rof the free woman.

Christ Has Set Us Free

For sfreedom Christ has tset us free; ustand firm therefore, and do not submit again to va yoke of wslavery.

Look: I, Paul, say to you that xif you accept circumcision, yChrist will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that zhe is obligated to keep the whole law. You are asevered from Christ, byou who would be justified1 by the law; cyou have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly dwait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus eneither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but fonly faith working through love.

gYou were running well. Who hindered you from obeying hthe truth? This persuasion is not from ihim who calls you. jA little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 kI have confidence in the Lord that you will ltake no other view, and mthe one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 11 But if I, brothers,2 still preach3 circumcision, nwhy am I still being persecuted? In that case othe offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish pthose who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. qOnly do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love rserve one another. 14 For sthe whole law is fulfilled in one word: tYou shall love your neighbor as yourself. 15 But if you ubite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Keep in Step with the Spirit

16 But I say, vwalk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify wthe desires of the flesh. 17 For xthe desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, yto keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are zled by the Spirit, ayou are not under the law. 19 Now bthe works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, cdivisions, 21 envy,4 drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that dthose who do5 such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But ethe fruit of the Spirit is flove, joy, peace, patience, gkindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 hgentleness, iself-control; jagainst such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus khave crucified the flesh with its lpassions and desires.

25 If we live by the Spirit, mlet us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 nLet us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Bear One Another's Burdens

Brothers,1 oif anyone is caught in any transgression, pyou who are spiritual should restore him in qa spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. rBear one another's burdens, and sso fulfill tthe law of Christ. For uif anyone thinks he is something, vwhen he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one wtest his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For xeach will have to bear his own load.

yLet the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. zDo not be deceived: God is not mocked, for awhatever one sows, that will he also reap. For bthe one who sows to his own flesh cwill from the flesh reap corruption, but dthe one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And elet us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, fif we do not give up. 10 So then, gas we have opportunity, let us hdo good to everyone, and especially to those who are iof the household of faith.

Final Warning and Benediction

11 See with what large letters I am writing to you jwith my own hand. 12 kIt is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh lwho would force you to be circumcised, and only min order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But far be it from me to boast nexcept in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which2 the world ohas been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For pneither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but qa new creation. 16 And as for all who walk by this rule, rpeace and mercy be upon them, and upon sthe Israel of God.

17 From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

18 tThe grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be uwith your spirit, brothers. Amen.