Letter to the Galatians

Letter to the Galatians

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Chapter 1

1 I am an apostle Paul. It was not people who gave me this authority. It was not people who appointed me to this ministry. Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Christ from the dead chose me for the ministry.
2 There are some brothers here with me, and they are sending greetings to the churches in Galatia.
3 Receive grace and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
4 Our God the Father fulfilled His plan when Christ died for our sins to deliver us from the evil which lives in this world.
5 Let everyone praise God throughout all the ages. Amen.
6 Galatians, I am unpleasantly surprised. God gave you the calling and grace of Christ. But you turned away from God so quickly and followed some other “good news”.
7 However, there is no other “good news”. But there are people who confuse you. They want to distort the Good News about Christ.
8 If a heavenly angel distorts the Good News about Christ and preaches it, he will invite a curse to himself. We brought you the true News. But we also will invite a curse to ourselves if we distort the Good News about Jesus.
9 I told you about it before, and I repeat it now. You received from us the true News about Christ. But if someone preaches to you any other “good news”, he brings a curse to himself.
10 What do I want to have? An approval of God or people? Do I try to please people? I became a slave of Christ, so I do not please people anymore.
11 Brothers, I preached to you the Good News about Christ. You should know that it was not made up by people.
12 I got to know the Good News through the revelation of Jesus Christ. I learned from Christ, not from man.
13 In the past I followed the Jewish religion. And you know what I was doing at that time. I violently persecuted the Church of God and destroyed it.
14 I was more devoted to Judaism than the people of my age or other Jews. I showed a great zeal towards the traditions passed to us by our fathers.
15 But God chose me even before I was born. He gave me a calling and grace. And God wanted to fulfill His plan in my life.
16 That is why He gave me a revelation about His Son. And at that time I did not seek the opinions of others about this revelation. And I began to preach the Good News about Christ to the Gentiles.
17 Immediately after this revelation I did not go to Jerusalem to the apostles whom God appointed to this ministry before me. I went to Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus again.
18 Three years later I came to Jerusalem. I met with the apostle Peter there and spent with him fifteen days.
19 I also met with the apostle James who was the brother of the Lord. At that time I did not meet with the other apostles there.
20 God knows that I am writing you the truth, and I am not lying.
21 After that I went north into the provinces of Syria and Cilicia.
22 The churches of Christ in Judea did not know me personally.
23 But this is what they heard about me, “There is a man who used to persecute Christians. But now he preaches the same faith he was destroying before.”
24 And the churches in Judea glorified God for me.

Chapter 2

1 In fourteen years I again went to Jerusalem with Barnabas. And this time Titus came with me.
2 I decided to go to Jerusalem because of the revelation which God gave me about the Gentiles. I personally met with the influential Church leaders there. I told them about the way I preach the Good News about Christ to the Gentiles. I wanted to make sure that there was no disagreement between us, and that they recognize my ministry.
3 My companion Titus was a Gentile. But Church leaders did not force him to circumcise.
4 And this is why the question of circumcision came up. Some people pretended to be believers and visited our meetings. They gained our trust and wanted to take away our freedom which Christ gave us. These false believers wanted to make us slaves of their Jewish traditions.
5 But we did not yield to them and did not submit to their teaching for a single moment. We preserved for you the truth which God revealed to us through the Good News about Christ.
6 I defended the truth in front of the highly respected leaders of the church. And it was nothing special to me. There are no people so special that God would change His truth because of them. But the leaders of the church had nothing against my revelation.
7 And I will say even more. They compared me to Peter. They saw that God entrusted us with different groups of people. I preach the Good News to the Gentiles. And the same way Peter preaches about Christ to the Jews.
8 God appointed Peter as an apostle for the Jews. And He works through Peter among the Jews. And the same God appointed me as an apostle to the Gentiles. And He also works through me among the Gentiles.
9 James, Peter and John are recognized as pillars of the Church. And they recognized the gift which God gave me. They agreed that we do common work. But we go to the Gentiles, and they go to the Jews.
10 They asked us to remember the poor and help them. But even before I made every effort to help the poor.
11 And when Peter came to Antioch, I publicly opposed him because he was wrong.
12 At first, Peter ate with uncircumcised Gentiles who believed in Jesus. But later some people came from James. They were convinced that believers should do circumcision. And Peter was afraid of criticism from these people. So he started avoiding the Gentiles and stopped eating with them.
13 The other Jew believers followed the same double standards as Peter did. And even Barnabas joined them in this hypocrisy.
14 I saw that they were turning away from the truth which God revealed to us through the Good News about Christ. Then I said in front of everyone, “Peter, what are you doing? You are a Jew. But now you do not keep the Jewish laws. You live like a Gentile. But you force the Gentiles to practice the Jewish traditions.”
15 We were born as Jews. We followed what the Law of Moses required. So we thought that we do not sin as the Gentiles do.
16 But now we know that God does not set free from sin those who keep the Law of Moses. So God does not give them His righteousness. But God gives freedom from sin to those who believe in Jesus Christ. And God gives them His righteousness. We believed in Christ. And through our faith God set us free from sin and gave us His righteousness. No man can fulfill the requirements of the Law of Moses. So no man will receive freedom from sin and God’s righteousness on the basis of the Law of Moses.
17 We are Jews. We kept the Law of Moses, and that is why we considered ourselves righteous. But through Christ we found the righteousness of God. We admitted that we were sinners and turned to Christ. Does it mean that Christ made us sinners? No.
18 Instead, I will become a sinner if I reject Christ and return to the Law of Moses.
19 I could not keep the Law of Moses. The Law killed me with its requirements. But God gave me life, and now I live for Him. I crucified my sinful nature along with Christ.
20 My sinful nature died, and now Christ lives in me. He loves me, so He gave His life for me. I live in this world in a physical body, but I live by faith in the Son of God.
21 I will not reject the grace of God. Suppose that God gives freedom from sin to those who keep the Law of Moses. And through this God gives them His righteousness. In this case, what was the point for Christ to die for sinners?

Chapter 3

1 Galatians, what a nonsense? Who made you go against the truth? You believed the liars. Christ died for you on the cross. And you realized it so deeply as if you could see it with your own eyes.
2 In the past you kept the Law of Moses. Now answer me one question. Did God fill you with His Spirit at that time? But later you heard about Christ and believed in Him. And after that God gave you His Spirit.
3 At first, you acted according to the desire of the Holy Spirit. But now you brought your old sinful nature back to life. Why did you do such a foolish thing?
4 You went through a lot of trials. Did the life in the Holy Spirit bring you no benefit at all? Of course, you could see the result!
5 In the past you kept the Law of Moses. But did God fill you with His Spirit at that time? But did God work miracles among you at that time? No. But later you heard about Christ and believed in Him. Then God gave you His Spirit. And then God began to work miracles among you.
6 The same way Abraham believed God. God saw his faith and gave Abraham His righteousness.
7 You should understand that faith makes us the sons of Abraham.
8 The Scriptures predicted that the Gentiles would believe in God. Through faith He would set them free from sin and give them His righteousness. In advance God proclaimed this Good News to Abraham. God said, “Abraham, I will bless all the nations through you.”
9 Abraham believed God, and God blessed him. We also believed God, and He blessed us like He blessed Abraham.
10 Moses wrote the Book of the Law. The Jews keep the Law and expect to receive righteousness. But they fall under the curse because the Scriptures say, “He who does not keep the whole Law of Moses falls under the curse.”
11 It is obvious that God does not free from sin the one who keeps the Law. So God does not give him His righteousness. But God set free from sin the one who believes in Jesus. And God gives His righteousness to the believer. The righteous person believes in God. The righteous person lives for God.
12 But the Law of Moses has nothing to do with faith. There is no need to believe in the Law. People must keep the Law. And the one who keeps the Law lives for it.
13 Christ fulfilled the prophecy which the Law of Moses speaks about, “Everyone who is executed on a wooden crossbar falls under the curse.” But Christ fulfilled all the Law of Moses, and He did not deserve the curse. On the cross Christ fell under the curse instead of us. He paid for our freedom with His blood. Christ saved us from the curse of the Law.
14 And the blessing of Abraham extended to the Gentiles through Jesus Christ. God promised to give us the Holy Spirit, and we received Him through faith.
15 Brothers, I tell you what everyone knows about. People recognize as valid the agreement which a person makes according to the rules. And no one changes such an agreement and adds anything to it.
16 God made the Unbreakable Agreement with Abraham. In this Agreement God gave the promises to Abraham and to his only son. But God did not speak about many sons. He spoke about the only Son, He referred to Christ. Christ inherited the promises which God gave to Abraham.
17 Listen, at first, God made the Unbreakable Agreement with Abraham, and at the same time He told Abraham about Christ. 430 years passed, and only after that God gave His Law to the Jews through Moses. But the Law does not cancel the Unbreakable Agreement which God previously established with Abraham.
18 Suppose, God would give the inheritance to those who keep the Law of Moses. In this case, God would have to take this inheritance away from Abraham. But 430 years ago God already made the Unbreakable Agreement with Abraham. And God promised in this Agreement that He would give the inheritance to Abraham.
19 Then why did God give the Law? At first, God promised to Abraham that He would give him a Son. God spoke about Christ. But people sinned so later God gave them the Law. The Law of Moses remained in effect only until the time when the promised Son of Abraham came. God gave a command to His angels, and they brought the Law to Moses. And Moses wrote the Law and became the mediator between God and the people.
20 The mediator represents the interests of the two parties. But when God made a promise to Abraham, He did not use a mediator. God spoke about Christ, and it means that God spoke about Himself.
21 So Moses says that people must keep the Law. But Abraham says that we must believe in the promises of God. Do these contradict each other? No! Suppose that God would give such a Law which brings life. Then God would set free from sin those who keep the Law. And God would give them His righteousness.
22 But the Scriptures say that all people are under the power of sin that is why God gave the Law. According to the Law, people offered sacrifices for their sins. The sacrifices did not set people free from sin, but the sacrifices pointed out to Christ. God spoke about Christ to Moses. God spoke about Christ to Abraham. And in Christ God fulfilled the promise He gave to Abraham. We believe in Jesus Christ. That is why God sets us free from sin and gives us His righteousness through faith.
23 Until a certain time we lived in the captivity of the Law of Moses. But then the time of faith came, and the time of the Law finished.
24 The Law of Moses directed us to Christ. Now we believe in Jesus, so God sets us free from sin and gives us His righteousness.
25 Now the time of faith came, and the Law of Moses can no longer rule our lives.
26 When you believed in Jesus Christ, you were born of God and became His sons.
27 All of you were baptized with water in the name of Christ. And in Christ all of you put the new nature of God on your inner person.
28 Now Jesus Christ united all of us in Himself. So in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile. So in Christ there is no difference between slave and free person. So in Christ it does not matter if you are man or woman.
29 Now you belong to Christ. So you are the descendants of Abraham and his heirs. That is why you receive what God promised to give to Abraham.

Chapter 4

1 Suppose, a father dies in the family. Then all the inheritance goes to his child. But during his childhood the heir is no different from a slave, even though he became the master over all the inheritance.
2 The heir submits to his guardians and managers. He will receive his inheritance rights when he reaches the age set by his father.
3 I will compare this with the time before Christ came to the earth. At that time we did not reach the mature age. We lived in this world, and like children, we obeyed traditions and rules.
4 But God appointed the perfect time and sent His Son. Mary gave birth to the Son of God, and He lived under the authority of the Law of Moses.
5 We were all under the authority of this Law. But Christ fulfilled all the Law and paid with His blood for our sins. He paid for our freedom and bought us out from the authority of the Law of Moses. God adopted us, and we received all the rights which children have.
6 You became the sons of God. God sent into your hearts the Spirit of His Son who calls out to God, “Father, Father!”
7 Listen, now God calls you His son, not a slave. You became the son of God, and through Jesus Christ you became the heir of God.
8 In the past, you lived without Christ and did not know God. And like slaves, you obeyed visible things. But visible things should not take the place of God.
9 Now you know God. And I will say more that now God knows you. Traditions did not make you strong, but you return to them again. You follow the rules which did not bring you any benefit. Why do you want to become slaves of visible things again?
10 Why do you pay special attention to certain days, months and seasons?
11 I ministered so hard among you. But I am concerned that my efforts did not bring any result.
12 I am a Jew, and you are the Gentiles. But I stopped following the Jewish traditions and became like you. Brothers, I urge you to live in the same freedom as I do. When I first came to you, you treated me well.
13 And you remember that at that time I was preaching to you the Good News about Christ, though I was sick.
14 My physical condition became a test for you. But you did not treat me with contempt. And you did not look at me with disgust. Instead, you accepted me like an angel of God. You treated me like Jesus Christ.
15 You showed me such a kindness! It is impossible to give your eyes to another person. But I say with full confidence that for me you were ready to do even that.
16 Did I now become your enemy because I tell you the truth?
17 You believed the liars who have no good intentions. These false teachers jealously guard you from my influence. They want to have your full attention.
18 Good people always do good, not only when observed by others. But these liars harm you with their teaching when I am not with you.
19 My children, I go through sufferings again and give birth to you again. I will do this until I see the image of Christ in you!
20 I would like to come to you and have a serious conversation because I do not understand what happened to you.
21 You want to live by the Law of Moses. Tell me, do you understand what this Law says?
22 We read in the Scriptures, “Abraham had two sons. Hagar who was a slave gave birth to Ishmael. And Sarah who was a free woman gave birth to Isaac.”
23 The son of the slave was born out of human desire. And the son of the free woman was born out of God’s desire. God fulfilled His promise which He gave to Abraham.
24 These two women represent two Agreements. Hagar is a slave, and she gives birth to the slaves. She symbolizes the first Agreement made by God on Mount Sinai.
25 So Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia. And this Mount represents earthly Jerusalem which is in slavery under the Law of Moses along with its children.
26 The second woman is Sarah. She gives birth to the free children. Sarah represents the heavenly Jerusalem where the free people live.
27 The Scriptures say, “O woman, rejoice! You cannot have children. You have never given birth nor suffered childbirth pain. You feel abandoned. But you will have many more children than a married woman. O woman, rejoice and shout for joy!”
28 When Sarah gave birth to Isaac, God fulfilled the promise He gave to Abraham. Brothers, we also were born like Isaac.
29 Ishmael was born out of human desire. But Isaac was born out of the desire of the Holy Spirit. And at that time Ishmael persecuted Isaac. The same thing happens now.
30 What do the Scriptures say? The son of the slave will not become the heir. The son of the free woman will receive the inheritance. So drive out the slave and her son.
31 Brothers, listen to me. The free woman gave birth to us, not the slave woman.

Chapter 5

1 Christ set us free. So live in the freedom and do not return to the slavery of the Law of Moses.
2 And I, Paul, will tell you even more. If you circumcise, you no longer value the sacrifice of Christ.
3 I declare once again to those who practice circumcision. You must keep all the Law of Moses.
4 The Law does not set people free from sin and does not give them the righteousness of God. If you want to keep the Law, you reject Christ and lose His grace.
5 But we live by the Spirit. And with full confidence we expect that through faith God will give us His righteousness.
6 In Christ circumcision lost its power. Now there is no difference between circumcised and uncircumcised man. In Christ only faith matters. And if you treat one another with love, you will have strong faith.
7 You were going in the right direction. Who stopped you? Who made you go against the truth?
8 God called you to live in freedom, but you trusted the false teachers.
9 Remember that a small amount of yeast ferments all the dough.
10 The Lord gives me confidence that you will not follow this false teaching. God will judge the person who misleads you. And it doesn’t matter who that person is.
11 Brothers, do you know why the Jews persecute me? I preach that God gives His righteousness through faith in the Lord Jesus who was crucified on the cross. I also say that God does not give His righteousness through circumcision. And it offends the Jews.
12 Cut off from your communication those who want to circumcise you. Get rid of the false teachers, and you will get rid of the problem.
13 Brothers, God called you to Himself and gave you freedom. But this freedom does not mean that you can do whatever you want. Do not follow the desires of your sinful nature. God set you free, and now you should serve one another with love.
14 The Law of Moses can be summarized in one thing, “Love another person as yourself.”
15 Do not torture one another with conflicts. Do not attack one another like animals. Otherwise, you will destroy yourselves.
16 I tell you, think of the spiritual things. And you will follow the desires of the Holy Spirit. Do not think of sinful things. And you will not follow the desires of your sinful nature.
17 The human sinful nature rebels against the desires of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit battles against the desires which come from the sinful nature. These two forces oppose each other. Think of the desires which come from the Holy Spirit, and you will do good deeds. But if you think of sinful things, you will do evil.
18 Now you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. You no longer live under the authority of the Law of Moses.
19 People think of sinful things and submit to their sinful nature. And this is the way they live. They are unfaithful to their spouses and live in sexual immorality. They do impure things and indulge in lustful pleasures.
20 They worship idols and practice witchcraft. They hate and quarrel with one another. They get upset when other people succeed. They give in to furious outbursts and do not care about others. They make conflicts and follow false teachings.
21 They envy and murder. They get drunk, live an immoral lifestyle and do other sins like these. I warned you before, and I repeat it again. The one who does such things will not receive the inheritance of God and will not enter the Kingdom of God.
22 But people who think of the spiritual things bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. They treat one another with love. They are full of joy and peace. They show great patience and do not refuse to help others. They do good deeds, and people appreciate their faithfulness.
23 They are kind, and they are able to discipline themselves. The Law of Moses does not condemn such people.
24 We belong to the Lord Jesus. We nailed our old sinful nature to the cross along with its harmful habits and sinful desires.
25 The Holy Spirit gave us life. So we must think of the spiritual things and follow the desires of the Holy Spirit.
26 Do not boast. It annoys others and causes envy.

Chapter 6

1 Brothers, suppose that there is someone in your church who started sinning. In this case, there are some spiritually mature people among you who can correct such a person. But they should do it with kindness. All of you should watch over yourselves and resist the temptation your brother failed to overcome.
2 Help one another and go through difficulties together. This way you will fulfill the New Law given to us by Christ.
3 But some people do not help others. They think that they are too important. Such people deceive themselves, they are not important at all.
4 Evaluate your actions and enjoy what you do. Then you will not depend on the approval of others.
5 Remember that you are the one who is responsible for your life.
6 Help those who teach you the Word of God. Share with them everything you have.
7 Do not deceive yourselves and do not blame God. You will gather a harvest from the seeds you planted.
8 The one who pleases his sinful nature plants the seeds of sin. Such a person will reap a harvest of death. But the one who pleases the Holy Spirit plants the seeds of the Holy Spirit. Such a person will reap a harvest of eternal life.
9 Do what is right. Do not get tired of planting good seeds. If we do not grow weary, the right time will come when we will reap our harvest.
10 Do not miss the opportunities and help all the people. But first of all, do good to those who belong to the family of God.
11 Now I am writing to you with my own hand. Can you see that I am writing with big letters?
12 We preach that God gives His righteousness through the cross of Christ, not through circumcision. And the Jews persecute us for this. But there are those who are afraid of persecutions, and they force you to do circumcision. Such people take pride in their circumcision, and they do not appreciate the cross of Christ.
13 You should know that those who do circumcision do not keep the Law of Moses. But they want to circumcise you because they want to boast about your circumcision.
14 And I do not want to boast about anything. The only thing that matters to me is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now the cross stands between me and the world. I have crucified the world, and the world is dead to me. And the world has crucified me, and I am dead to the world.
15 Now you belong to Christ. And it is not important who is circumcised or who is uncircumcised. But what really matters is that God gave His new nature to your inner person. You are a new creation.
16 You became a new nation of God through the cross of Christ, not through circumcision. God had mercy on you and gave you peace. Now you are the Israel of God.
17 Why do you oppose me? I have already suffered for the Lord Jesus, and I bear scars from wounds on my body.
18 Brothers, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ fill your spirit. Amen.


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