Christ Has Set Us Free
2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that xif you accept circumcision, yChrist will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that zhe is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are asevered from Christ, byou who would be justified1 by the law; cyou have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly dwait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus eneither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but fonly faith working through love.
7 gYou were running well. Who hindered you from obeying hthe truth? 8 This persuasion is not from ihim who calls you. 9 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: t“You 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.
Peace with God Through Faith
5 aTherefore, since we have been justified by faith, bwe1 have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also cobtained access by faith2 into this grace din which we stand, and ewe3 rejoice4 in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we frejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering gproduces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hhope does not put us to shame, because God's love ihas been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
6 For jwhile we were still weak, at the right time kChrist died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but lGod shows his love for us in that mwhile we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, nwe have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from othe wrath of God. 10 For if pwhile we were enemies qwe were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by rhis life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received sreconciliation.
Death in Adam, Life in Christ
12 Therefore, just as tsin came into the world through one man, and udeath through sin, and vso death spread to all men5 because wall sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but xsin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not ylike the transgression of Adam, zwho was a type of athe one who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for bmany. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For cthe judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought djustification. 17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness ereign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
18 Therefore, as one trespass6 led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness7 leads to justification and life for fall men. 19 For as by the one man's gdisobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's hobedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now ithe law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, jgrace abounded all the more, 21 so that, kas sin reigned in death, lgrace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Dead to Sin, Alive to God
6 What shall we say then? mAre we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can nwe who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us owho have been baptized pinto Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were qburied therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as rChrist was raised from the dead by sthe glory of the Father, we too might walk in tnewness of life.
5 For uif we have been united with him in va death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that wour old self8 xwas crucified with him in order that ythe body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For zone who has died ahas been set free9 from sin. 8 Now bif we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that cChrist, being raised from the dead, will never die again; ddeath no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, eonce for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves fdead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Let not gsin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 hDo not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but ipresent yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For jsin kwill have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Slaves to Righteousness
15 What then? lAre we to sin mbecause we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves nto anyone as obedient slaves,10 you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But othanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the pstandard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, qhaving been set free from sin, rhave become slaves of righteousness. 19 sI am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For tjust as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members uas slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
20 vFor when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 wBut what fruit were you getting at that time from the things xof which you are now ashamed? yFor the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you zhave been set free from sin and ahave become slaves of God, bthe fruit you get leads to sanctification and cits end, eternal life. 23 dFor the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Released from the Law
7 Or do you not know, brothers11—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2 For ea married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.12 3 Accordingly, fshe will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
4 Likewise, my brothers, gyou also have died hto the law ithrough the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, jin order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work kin our members lto bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the mnew way of nthe Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.13
The Law and Sin
7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, oI would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if pthe law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, qseizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. rFor apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment sthat promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, tseizing an opportunity through the commandment, udeceived me and through it killed me. 12 So vthe law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, wsold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For xI do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with ythe law, that it is good. 17 So now zit is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells ain me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 bFor I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, cit is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For dI delight in the law of God, ein my inner being, 23 but I see in my members fanother law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from gthis body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.