5 • 1 Christ freed us to make us really free. So remain firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. 2 I, Paul, say this to you: if you receive circumcision, Christ can no longer help you. 3 Once more I say to whoever receives circumcision: you are now bound to keep the whole Law. 4 All you who pretend to become righteous through the observance of the Law have separated yourselves from Christ and have fallen away from grace.
5 As for us, through the Spirit and faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 In Christ Jesus it is irrelevant whether we be circumcised or not; what matters is faith working through love.
7 You had begun your race well, who then hindered you on the way? Why did you stop obeying the truth? 8 This was not in obedience to God who calls you: 9 in fact, a little leaven is affecting the whole of you. 10 I am personally convinced that you will not go astray, but the one who confuses you, whoever he may be, shall receive punishment.
11 I myself, brothers, could I not preach circumcision? Then I would no longer be persecuted. But where would be the scandal of the cross? 12 Would that those who confuse would castrate themselves!
• 13 You, brothers and sisters, were called to enjoy freedom; I am not speaking of that freedom which gives free rein to the desires of the flesh, but of that which makes you slaves of one another through love. 14 For the whole Law is summed up in this sentence: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 15 But if you bite and tear each other to pieces, be careful lest you all perish.
16 Therefore I say to you: walk according to the Spirit and do not give way to the desires of the flesh! 17 For the desires of the flesh war against the spirit, and the desires of the spirit are opposed to the flesh. Both are in conflict with each other, so that you cannot do everything you would like. 18 But when you are led by the Spirit you are not under the Law.
19 You know what comes from the flesh: fornication, impurity and shamelessness, 20 idol worship and sorcery, hatred, jealousy and violence, anger, ambition, division, factions, 21 and envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like. I again say to you what I have already said: those who do these things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is charity, joy and peace, patience, understanding of others, kindness and fidelity, 23 gentleness and self-control. For such things there is no Law or punishment. 24 Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its vices and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us live in a spiritual way. 26 Let us not be conceited; let there be no rivalry or envy of one another.
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