Galatians 5:1-12

We should live as free people

1 Christ has made us free so that we can be really free! So be strong and do not turn back. Do not let yourselves become slaves to the Jewish rules again.

2 Listen carefully! I, Paul, tell you this. If you agree that someone should circumcise you, then Christ will be worth nothing to you. 3 I will say it very clearly. Every man who lets someone circumcise him must then obey all the Jewish rules. 4 I say this to you people who try to obey the rules of God's Law. If you think that God will accept you as right because you do that, you have turned away from Christ. You no longer agree to accept God's kind gift. 5 But if we trust what Christ has done for us, God's Spirit helps us to wait. We are sure that God will accept us as right with him. 6 We belong to Christ Jesus. So it does not matter whether anyone has circumcised us or not. The only thing that matters is that we believe in Christ. As a result we will love others in the way that we live.

7 Like good runners, you were doing very well! You should not have let anyone turn you away from God's true message. 8 It is not God who has caused you to change what you believe. No! God is the one who has chosen you to serve him. 9 People say this: ‘Only a small amount of yeast in the flour will cause a loaf of bread to grow big.’ 10 But I feel sure about you, because we belong to the Lord. I know that you will agree with what I say about this. But as for the man who is confusing you, God will punish him. It does not matter who he is, God will punish him.

5:9In the Bible, yeast is often a picture of something bad that causes more bad things to happen.

11 My Christian friends, do you think that I still teach that someone must circumcise believers? If I really taught that, then I would not still receive trouble from people. What I teach about Christ's death on the cross would not cause anyone to become angry. 12 Those people who are causing trouble and want to circumcise you should cut their own bodies! Yes, that is what they should do!