Galatians 5 The Message
1 Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.
2-3I am emphatic about this. The moment any one of you submits to circumcision or any other rule-keeping system, at that same moment Christ's hard-won gift of freedom is squandered. I repeat my warning: The person who accepts the ways of circumcision trades all the advantages of the free life in Christ for the obligations of the slave life of the law. 4-6I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.
7-10You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience? This detour doesn't come from the One who called you into the race in the first place. And please don't toss this off as insignificant. It only takes a minute amount of yeast, you know, to permeate an entire loaf of bread. Deep down, the Master has given me confidence that you will not defect. But the one who is upsetting you, whoever he is, will bear the divine judgment.
11-12As for the rumor that I continue to preach the ways of circumcision (as I did in those pre-Damascus Road days), that is absurd. Why would I still be persecuted, then? If I were preaching that old message, no one would be offended if I mentioned the Cross now and then—it would be so watered-down it wouldn't matter one way or the other. Why don't these agitators, obsessive as they are about circumcision, go all the way and castrate themselves!
Let us be steadfast to continue to stay in the freedom Christ has wrought for us through His finished work on the cross(New Covenant), otherwise if we follow rules and regulations (old covenant), then :
we fall from grace,
Christ gift of freedom is squandered,
we are under harness of slavery
As for those agitators, obsessive in the law (old covenant), hear what is said in verse 12, herewith a few versions of the bible:
12As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!(NIV)
12I wish that everyone who is upsetting you would not only get circumcised, but would cut off much more!(CEV)
12 I just wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves. (NLT)
Paul was suggesting not only circumcision but cutting off the whole hanging bits! or mutilate (genital mutilation!) or castration or make impotent(emasculate) for all those obsessive with following the law. Wow, what a painful and humiliating experience ! What strong and 'politically incorrect'words that Paul used that can stir instant uproar in today's society.
Rejoice, contine to stand firm in the freedom Christ has given you and me, don’t worry about those agitators (obsessive lovers of the law) – refer them to the strong words of Paul!