ST. PAULíS Epistle to the GALATIANS
Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead,) and all the brethren who are with me, to the Churches of Galatia; Grace be to you, and peace from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from the present evil world, according to the will of our God and Father, to him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him who called you by the grace of Christ to another gospel: Which is not another; but there are some that trouble you, and would subvert the gospel of Christ. But if we, or an angel from heaven, preach to you another gospel than we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say now again, if any one preach to you another gospel than that ye received, let him be accursed. For do I now satisfy men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For neither did I receive it from man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard of my behavior in time past in the Jewish religion, that above measure I persecuted the Church of God, and wasted it. And I profited in the Jewish religion above many of my years among my countrymen, being more abundantly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my motherís womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with flesh and blood: Neither did I go up to Jerusalem, to them that were apostles before me; but I immediately went into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles I saw none, save James, the brother of the Lord. Now the things which I write to you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterward I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; and I was unknown by face to the Churches of Judea which were in Christ: But only they had heard, He that persecuted us in time past, now preached the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me.
Then fourteen years after went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus also with me. But I went up by revelation, and laid before them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but severally to those of eminence, lest by any means I should run, or should have run in vain. (But neither was Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, compelled to be circumcised, because of false brethren introduced unawares, who had slipped in, to spy out our liberty which we have through Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we did not yield by submission, no, not an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.) And they who undoubtedly were something, (but whatsoever they were it is no difference to me: God accepteth no manís person,) they who undoubtedly were something, added nothing to me. But on the contrary, when they saw that I was entrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision, as Peter with that of the circumcision: (For he that wrought effectually in Peter for the apostleship of the circumcision, wrought likewise effectually in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, and Cephas, and John, who undoubtedly were pillars, knew the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hands of fellowship to me and Barnabas, that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcision: Only they desired that we would be mindful of the poor, which very thing I also was forward to do. But when Cephas came to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before some came from James, he ate with the Gentiles; but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those of the circumcision. And the other Jews also dissembled with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw, that they did not walk uprightly, according to the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of the Gentiles, and not of the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to Judaize? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, even we (knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ) have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. But if while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I may live to God. I am crucified with Christ, and I live no longer, but Christ liveth in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and delivered up himself for me. I do not make void the grace of God; for if righteousness is by the law, then Christ died in vain.
O thoughtless Galatians, who hath bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Did ye receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so thoughtless? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? If it be yet in vain? Doth he that ministereth the Spirit to you, and worketh miracles among you, do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? As Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness. Know then that they who are of faith, these are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared before the glad tidings to Abraham, In thee shall all the nations be blessed. So then they who are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one who continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them. But that none is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident; for the just shall live by faith. Now the law is not of faith; but he that doeth them shall live by them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: (for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. I speak after the manner of men: though it be but a man covenant, yet if it be confirmed, none disannulleth or addeth thereto. Now the promises were made to Abraham and his seed. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, the covenant which was before confirmed of God through Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, doth not disannul, as to make the promise of no effect. And again, if the inheritance be by the law, it is no more by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then was the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made: And it was ordained by angels, in the hand of a mediator. Now the mediator is not a mediator of one; but God is one. Is then the law against the promises of God? God forbid. But if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up together unto the faith which was to be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But faith being come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all sons of God by faith in Jesus Christ. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye are Christís, then are ye the seed of Abraham, and heirs according to the promise.
Now I say, the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and stewards, till the time appointed by the father. So we also, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Indeed, then when ye knew not God, ye served them that by nature are not gods. But now having known God, or rather being known of God, how turn ye back to the weak and poor elements, to which ye desire to be in bondage again? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored among you in vain.
Brethren, I beseech you, be ye as I am; for I also am as ye were: Ye have not injured me at all. Ye know that notwithstanding infirmity of the flesh, I preached the gospel to you at first. And ye did not slight or disdain my temptation which was in the flesh, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. What was then the blessedness ye spake of? For I bear you witness, that, if possible, ye would have plucked out your eyes, and have given them to me. Am I become your enemy because I tell you the truth? They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. Now it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only while I am present with you. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again, till Christ be formed in you, I could wish to be present with you now and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
Tell me, ye that would be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, Abraham had two sons, one by the bond-woman, another by the free-woman. And he of the bond-woman was born after the flesh, but he of the free-woman by promise. Which things are an allegory: For these are the two covenants, one from Mount Sinai, bearing children to bondage, which is Agar. For this is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem that now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem that is above is free, which is the mother of us all. (For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren, that bearest not, break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for the desolate hath many more children than she that hath a husband.) Now we, brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. But as then, he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, so it is now also. But what saith the Scripture? Cast out the bond-woman and her son; for the son of the bond-woman shall not be heir with the son of the free-woman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bond-woman, but of the free.
Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, If ye be circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect to you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well: Who hath hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion cometh not from him that called you. A little leaven loaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be no otherwise minded; but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. But if I, brethren, still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then is the offense of the cross ceased. I wish it and they shall be cut off that trouble you.
Brethren, ye have been called to liberty; only use not this liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed ye be not consumed one of another. I say then, walk by the Spirit, and fulfil not the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desireth against the Spirit, but the Spirit desireth against the flesh, (these are contrary to each other,) that ye may not do the things which ye would. But if ye are led by the Spirit ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, strifes, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: Of which I tell you before (as I have also told you in time past) that they who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, fidelity, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law. And they that are Christís have crucified the flesh with its affections and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Be not desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in any fault, ye who are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one anotherís burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if any one think himself to be something, whereas he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every one try his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every one shall bear his own burdens. Let him that is taught in the word impart to him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that also shall he reap. For he that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. But let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Therefore as we have opportunity let us do good unto all men; but especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Ye see how large a letter I have written to you with my own hand. As many as desire to make a fair appearance in the flesh, these constrain you to be circumcised: Only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but they desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world. For neither circumcision is any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
From henceforth let none trouble me; for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. Brethren, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.