New Century Version (NCV)
5 We have freedom now, because Christ made us free. So stand strong. Do not change and go back into the slavery of the law.
A. As a born-again believer, you have residing within your spirit the faith of God. You have the life and nature of God. Faith is a fruit of the reborn human spirit (Galatians 5:22). Your faith has the potential to produce the same results that Jesus produced in His earthly ministry (John 14:12).
Faith must be in the unseen before it can be applied to the things you can see. It is cultivated through fellowship with the Father. Your relationship with Him is the most important aspect of your faith walk. You cannot see God, but He will reveal Himself to you through His Word, by the Holy Spirit.
Faith that moves mountains is simply trusting God to keep His Word. You cannot trust God without knowing Him. Fellowship is quality time spent alone with God getting to know Him. Your fellowship with Him will develop trust. It will enhance your faith because you are giving Him the opportunity to reveal Himself to you. You will know Him. Fellowship with God Who is invisible gives birth to the kind of faith that can change things in the visible, physical realm.
You can also promote the development of your faith through meditation and confession of the Word of God. Faith is an action; when you believe that you receive, you will act like it. God told Joshua, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8). Meditation reveals how to act on the Word. Confession is part of meditation. When you are speaking the Word to yourself, you are meditating the Word. You cannot say one thing and think something else. What you meditate regulates what you believe. Meditation and confession will cause you to be able to believe God’s Word enough to act on it in faith.
Faith is also developed through praying in the spirit. Jude 1 says, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.” Praying in other tongues is a spiritual exercise. As you spend time every day, praying in other tongues, you are keeping your spirit active rather than passive. You will be built up on your most holy faith!
5 Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.2 Take note! I, Paul, tell you that if you get yourselves circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all. 3 Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to keep the entire law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love.
7 You were running well. Who prevented you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion did not come from the One who called you. 9 A little yeast leavens the whole lump of dough. 10 I have confidence in the Lord you will not accept any other view. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty. 11 Now brothers, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 I wish those who are disturbing you might also get themselves castrated!
13 For you were called to be free, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in one statement: Love your neighbor as yourself.[a] 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out, or you will be consumed by one another.
16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious:[b][c] sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy,[d] drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,[e] 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. 26 We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
4 1 Now I say that as long as the heir is a child, he differs in no way from a slave, though he is the owner of everything. 2 Instead, he is under guardians and stewards until the time set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were in slavery under the elemental forces[a] of the world. 4 When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our[b] hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
8 But in the past, when you didn’t know God, you were enslaved to things[c] that by nature are not gods. 9 But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and bankrupt elemental forces? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again? 10 You observe special days, months, seasons, and years. 11 I am fearful for you, that perhaps my labor for you has been wasted.
12 I beg you, brothers: Become like me, for I also became like you. You have not wronged me; 13 you know that previously I preached the gospel to you because of a physical illness. 14 You did not despise or reject me though my physical condition was a trial for you.[d] On the contrary, you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself.
15 What happened to this sense of being blessed you had? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They[e] are enthusiastic about you, but not for any good. Instead, they want to isolate you so you will be enthusiastic about them. 18 Now it is always good to be enthusiastic about good—and not just when I am with you. 19 My children, I am again suffering labor pains for you until Christ is formed in you. 20 I would like to be with you right now and change my tone of voice, because I don’t know what to do about you.
21 Tell me, those of you who want to be under the law, don’t you hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and the other by a free woman. 23 But the one by the slave was born according to the impulse of the flesh, while the one by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. 24 These things are illustrations,[f] for the women represent the two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai and bears children into slavery—this is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written:
Rejoice, childless woman, who does not give birth. Burst into song and shout, you who are not in labor, for the children of the desolate are many, more numerous than those of the woman who has a husband.[g]
28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as then the child born according to the flesh persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, so also now. 30 But what does the Scripture say?
Drive out the slave and her son, for the son of the slave will never be a coheir with the son of the free woman.[h]
31 Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.