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no man put it into my hands, no man taught me what it meant, I had it by a revelation of Jesus Christ.

and how I surpassed many of my own age among my people in my devotion to Judaism, I was so fanatically devoted to what my forefathers had handed down.

and had called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me, so that I might preach his gospel among the Gentiles, without consulting a human being,

I did not go up to Jerusalem to those who had become apostles before me; instead I went to Arabia and came back to Damascus.

And the churches of Judaea which were in Christ still had no knowledge of my face or person:

And they glorified God [as the Author and Source of what had taken place] in me.

And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

But [all went well!] even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled [as some had anticipated] to be circumcised, although he was a Greek.

[My precaution was] because of false brethren who had been secretly smuggled in [to the Christian brotherhood]; they had slipped in to spy on our liberty and the freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might again bring us into bondage [under the Law of Moses].

Moreover, [no new requirements were made] by those who were reputed to be something -- "though what was their individual position and whether they really were of importance or not makes no difference to me; God is not impressed with the positions that men hold and He is not partial and recognizes no external distinctions -- "those [I say] who were of repute imposed no new requirements upon me [had nothing to add to my Gospel, and from them I received no new suggestions].

for He who had been at work within Peter with a view to his Apostleship to the Jews had also been at work within me with a view to my Apostleship to the Gentiles--

And when they knew (perceived, recognized, understood, and acknowledged) the grace (God's unmerited favor and spiritual blessing) that had been bestowed upon me, James and Cephas (Peter) and John, who were reputed to be pillars of the Jerusalem church, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, with the understanding that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised (Jews).

For until certain persons came from James he had been accustomed to eat with Gentiles; but as soon as these persons came, he withdrew and separated himself for fear of the Circumcision party.

Why, if I am now rebuilding that structure of sin which I had demolished, I am thereby constituting myself a transgressor;

Have you had all that experience for nothing (if it has really gone for nothing)?

I mean that the Covenant which God had already formally made is not abrogated by the Law which was given four hundred and thirty years later--so as to annul the promise.

What then was the purpose of the Law? It was added [later on, after the promise, to disclose and expose to men their guilt] because of transgressions and [to make men more conscious of the sinfulness] of sin; and it was intended to be in effect until the Seed (the Descendant, the Heir) should come, to and concerning Whom the promise had been made. And it [the Law] was arranged and ordained and appointed through the instrumentality of angels [and was given] by the hand (in the person) of a go-between [Moses, an intermediary person between God and man].

Thus the law had become our guardian until Christ, so that we could be declared righteous by faith.

But at that previous time, when you had not come to be acquainted with and understand and know the true God, you [Gentiles] were in bondage to gods who by their very nature could not be gods at all [gods that really did not exist].

But you are aware [I am sure] that when I first came preaching the Gospel [message] to you, I had a physical handicap.

and yet the bodily infirmity which was such a trial to you, you did not regard with contempt or loathing, but you received me as if I had been an angel of God or Christ Jesus Himself!

Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.

But whereas the child of the slave woman was born according to the flesh and had an ordinary birth, the son of the free woman was born in fulfillment of the promise.

For it is in the Writings, You who have never given birth, be glad; give cries of joy, you who have had no birth-pains; for the children of her who has been given up by her husband are more than those of the woman who has a husband.

But as in those days he who had birth after the flesh was cruel to him who had birth after the Spirit, even so it is now.

But, brothers, if I were still preaching [that a person had] to be circumcised, why am I being persecuted? [Note: Paul's argument seems to be "I must not be preaching circumcision since I am being persecuted by those who believe in it"]. [If I preached that a person had to be circumcised] then my preaching that Christ died on the cross would not be such an offense [to those who believe in it].

envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!

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.