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Reject the false teaching that you must be circumcised, and do not become enslaved to rules and ritu

1It is in order that we might live without …being obliged to/having to†obey all the Jewish rituals that Christ freed us from God condemning us because of our disobeying those rituals. So, firmly reject the false teaching that someone must circumcise you, and do not live like slaves again [MET] by letting others force you to obey those rules and rituals again.

2Consider very carefully what I, Paul, an apostle, now tell you: If you are permitting yourself to be circumcised {someone to circumcise you}, what Christ has done for you will not benefit you at all.

3Instead, I solemnly declare again to every man who is circumcised {has someone circumcise him} in order for God to accept him, that you must perfectly obey all of the laws that God gave Moses, in order for God to save you.

4Those of you who are sure that God will erase the record of your sins because you obey the laws that God gave to Moses, you have separated yourselves from Christ. You have abandoned/rejected God’s true method of saving you, which was by kindlyerasing the record of your sins, in a way that you did not deserve.

5But we who have a relationship with Christ are eagerly waiting for God to erase the record of our sins. We are eagerly awaiting that because God’s Spirit assures us that we can expect it, and because we trust in Christ.

6As for us who have a relationship with Christ Jesus, God is not concerned about whether a person is circumcised or is not circumcised. Instead, God is concerned about whether people trust in Christ, with the result that they love about other people.

Although someone has confused you, I am sure that you will not accept his false teaching, and that G

7You were progressing well spiritually [MET]. You should not have let someone influence you so that now you are not believing the true message about Christ [RHQ]!

8God, the one who chose you, is not the one who is persuading you to think like this!

9Remember that this false doctrine that someone is teaching you will affect all of you, just like [MET] a little yeast causes all of the dough to swell up.

10Nevertheless, because of my relationship with the Lord, I am certain that you will think only as I do about forcing people to obey rules and rituals. Furthermore, God will punish anyone who is confusing you by teaching this false message, even if he is an important person.

11But, my fellow believers, although someone claims that I am proclaiming that men must be circumcised, I certainly am not still proclaiming that. Remember that the Jews are still …persecuting me/causing me to suffer†. If I were still proclaiming that men must be circumcised in order for God to accept them, …the Jews would not be persecuting me./why would the Jews be persecuting me?† [RHQ] They would [RHQ] not be persecuting me/not causing me to sufferbecause then the Jews would no longer be offended. They …are offended/do not want to accept what I teach† because I proclaim that Christ, the Messiah, died on the cross [MTY].

12I would even wish that those who are disturbing you by insisting that men be circumcised would also emasculate [EUP] themselves, with the result that they would be expelled from your congregations!

Although you are free from having to obey Jewish rules, instead of doing what your self-directed nat

13My fellow believers, God chose you in order that you might live without having to obey rules and rituals. But do not assume that because you are free from having to obey rules and rituals, God permits you to do what your self-directed nature desires. Instead, constantly, as you love each other, serve each other.

14Keep in mind that we can sum up all of the laws that God has given us in one law, which is: “You must love each person you come in contact with, just like you love yourself.”

15Since you are attacking and injuring [MET] each other by the things that you say [MET], I warn you that if you continue doing that, you will totally ruin each other spiritually.

Let God’s Spirit direct you, and then you will not do what your self-directed nature desires.

16So I tell you this: Constantly let God’s Spirit direct you. If you do that, you will certainly not do the things that your self-directed nature wants you to do.

17Your self-directed nature …opposes God’s Spirit/does not want you to do what God’s Spirit wants you to do†, but also his Spirit opposes your self-directed nature. These two are always …fighting with/opposing† each other. The result is that you do not constantly do the good deeds that you truly desire to do.

18But when you are led by God's Spirit {when God’s Spirit directs you}, you can do what pleases God, now that you are no longer obligated to obey all the laws that God gave Moses.

Those who think evil thoughts and do evil things will not receive the blessings of God’s rule, but G

19You already know how people think and act [PRS] because of their self-directed nature. These are some of the things that they do: People are sexually immoral. People commit unnatural sexual acts. People act indecently.

20People worship false gods and things that represent those gods. People perform …rituals in order that evil spirits might act for them/sorcery†. People are hostile to others. People quarrel with each other. People are …jealous/resent other people’s status†. People behave angrily. People try …to get others to think highly of them/to exalt themselves† and …do not consider what others want/act selfishly†. People do not associate with others. People associate only with those who agree with them.

21People want what others have. People get drunk. People …revel/participate in wild parties†. And people do other things like these. I warn you now, just like I warned you previously, that the ones who constantly act and think like this will not receive what God has for his own people when he begins to rule over us.

22But God’s Spirit causes us to do these things: We love others. We are joyful. We are peaceful. We are patient. We are kind. We are good. We are ones whom others can trust.

23We are gentle. We control our behavior. There is no law that says people should not think and act in such ways.

24Furthermore, we who belong to Christ Jesus have stopped obeying our self-directed nature and stopped doing all the evil things that we desire to do [MET]. It is as though [MET] we nailed them to the cross!

25Since God’s Spirit has caused us to be spiritually alive, we should conduct our lives the way the Spirit directs us.

26We should not be saying how great we are. We should not be making ourselves more important than others. We should not envy each other.

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