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Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

Now [note carefully what I am telling you, for it is the truth], I write this as if I were standing before the bar of God; I do not lie.

only they were hearing that he who persecuted us formerly now announces the glad tidings of the faith which formerly he ravaged:

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.

Also Titus which was with me, though he were a Greek, yet was not compelled to be circumcised;

However, false brothers were secretly brought in. They slipped in to spy on the freedom we have in the Messiah Jesus so that they might enslave us.

But we refused to yield for a single instant to their claims; we were determined that the truth of the gospel should hold good for you.

but, on the contrary, seeing that the glad tidings of the uncircumcision were confided to me, even as to Peter that of the circumcision,

and when they perceived the grace that was given unto me, James and Cephas and John, they who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should go unto the Gentiles, and they unto the circumcision;

For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

The rest of the Jewish converts were guilty of the same hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led away by it.

But as soon as I saw that they were not straightforward and were not living up to the truth of the Gospel, I said to Cephas (Peter) before everybody present, If you, though born a Jew, can live [as you have been living] like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how do you dare now to urge and practically force the Gentiles to [comply with the ritual of Judaism and] live like Jews?

But if, while we sought to be justified in Christ, we ourselves also were found sinners, is Christ a minister of sin? God forbid.

For if the inheritance were by law, it is no more by promise: but God gave it to Abraham through the promise.

Why then was the Law given? It was imposed later on for the sake of defining sin, until the seed should come to whom God had made the promise; and its details were laid down by a mediator with the help of angels.

Is then the law against the promises of God? Far be the thought. For if a law had been given able to quicken, then indeed righteousness were on the principle of law;

But when faith was come, we were no longer under a paedagogue.

Even though my condition put you to the test, you did not despise or reject me. On the contrary, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, or as if I were the Messiah Jesus.

What has become of that blessed enjoyment and satisfaction and self-congratulation that once was yours [in what I taught you and in your regard for me]? For I bear you witness that you would have torn out your own eyes and have given them to me [to replace mine], if that were possible.

Would that I were with you now and could coax you vocally, for I am fearful and perplexed about you!

these things have an allegorical meaning: the two women signify the two covenants, the one from mount Sinai, which is represented by Agar, whose children were born in a state of servitude.

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].

In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God].

but God who is rich in mercy, on account of his great love with which he loved us,??5 even when we were dead in sins he made us alive with Christ,??y grace are you saved,

Wherefore, remember, that ye were once the nations in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that called Circumcision in the flesh made by hands,

by setting aside the Law with its commandments, expressed, as they were, in definite decrees. His design was to unite the two sections of humanity in Himself so as to form one new man,

Not in the way of eye-service [as if they were watching you] and only to please men, but as servants (slaves) of Christ, doing the will of God heartily and with your whole soul;

[This letter is from] Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus, [and is being sent] to all the saints [i.e., God's holy people] who are at Philippi [Note: This is a town in present-day northeastern Greece, and the first place in Europe where Paul established Christianity], along with the overseers [Note: These men were also called elders, shepherds or pastors] and deacons.

So that my bonds in Christ were manifest in the whole pretorium, and to all the rest;

Therefore, my dearly-loved friends, as I have always found you obedient, labour earnestly with fear and trembling--not merely as though I were present with you, but much more now since I am absent from you--labour earnestly, I say, to make sure of your own salvation.

because he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to provide me with what you were not able to.

Watch out for the "dogs!" [Note: "Dogs" were viewed with disgust by the ancient Jews (Deut. 23:18; II Kings 8:13; Rev. 22:15), so the term is used here derogatorily for Jewish Christians who were trying to impose on the church the requirements of the law of Moses]. Watch out for the evil workers! Watch out for those who mutilate the body meaninglessly! [Note: Paul here alludes, in a derogatory wordplay, to the Jewish practice of circumcision].

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

He is the likeness of the unseen God, born first before all the creation ??16 for it was by him that all things were created both in heaven and on earth, both the seen and the unseen, including Thrones, angelic Lords, celestial Powers and Rulers; all things have been created by him and for him;

having erased the charges that were brought against us, along with their obligations that were hostile to us. He took those charges away when he nailed them to the cross.

If you were made free, by your death with Christ, from the rules of the world, why do you put yourselves under the authority of orders

which yet were all made to be consumed for our use, notwithstanding the injunctions and doctrines of men:

Among whom you also once walked, when you were living in and addicted to [such practices].

[In this state] there cannot be [such distinctions as] Greek [i.e., Gentile] and Jew; circumcised people and non-circumcised people; barbarian and Scythian [Note: These last two words refer to foreigners whose language was unintelligible and who were uncivilized heathens], or slave and free person; but Christ is all [that is important] and [He is] in all [of His people].

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