1 Brothers, if any one of you is overwhelmed by a [particular] sin, those of you who are spiritually minded should [attempt to] restore such a person [to faithfulness]. But do it in a gentle way, being very careful that you yourself do not become tempted [to get involved in any sin]. 2 Take on yourselves the [spiritual] burdens of one another, for in doing so you will be fulfilling Christ's law [of love, John 13:35]. 3 For any person who thinks he is someone [important], when he is really nothing, is self-deceived. 4 But let each person test his own accomplishments so that he can determine if he should get credit for them or if his neighbor should. 5 For each person should shoulder the responsibility of his own work load.
6 But the person who is taught the word [of God] should provide his teacher with what he needs. 7 Do not be deceived; God will not be fooled. Whatever a person does with his life, he will reap [the results of it]. 8 If he engages in things to satisfy his own sinful desires, he will be [spiritually] destroyed for such conduct, but the one who engages in things to please the Holy Spirit will receive never ending life [as a result]. 9 And we should not become tired of doing good things, for eventually we will receive [never ending life] if we do not give up. 10 So then, we should do the right thing toward every person whenever we have the opportunity, and especially toward people who are part of God's family [i.e., those making up "the faith"].
11 Look at how large the letters are that I am using in writing this, and I am writing them myself. 12 Those who attempt to make a good impression by trying to force you to be circumcised really want only to avoid being persecuted for their commitment to Christ. 13 For not even those who practice circumcision comply with [the requirements of] the law of Moses, yet they want you to be circumcised so they can take credit for this physical evidence [of your compliance with the law of Moses]. 14 But the last thing I want to do is brag [about such things]. For [if I had any bragging to do at all], it would be about [salvation through] the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is through Him that this [sinful] world has been crucified [i.e., died] as far as I am concerned and I have been crucified [i.e., died] as far as it is concerned. 15 For it does not matter whether a person practices circumcision or refrains from practicing it; what really matters is [whether or not he is] a new creature [in the eyes of God]. 16 To all those people who live by this rule, may there be peace and mercy [from God] in their lives; that is, upon [those people who are truly] God's "Israel" [i.e., the church].
17 From now on no one should harass me [about such matters] for I carry around on my body the scars [left there in my service] for Christ. 18 May the unearned favor of our Lord Jesus Christ be in your inner person, brothers. May this be so.