Carry Each Other’s Burdens
1My beloved friends, if you see a believer who is overtaken with a fault, may the one who overflows with the Spirit seek to restore him. Win him over with gentle words, which will open his heart to you and will keep you from exalting yourself over him. 2Love empowers us to fulfill the law of the Anointed One as we carry each other’s troubles. 3If you think you are too important to stoop down to help another, you are living in deception.
4Let everyone be devoted to fulfill the work God has given them to do with excellence, and their joy will be in doing what’s right and being themselves, and not in being affirmed by others. 5Every believer is ultimately responsible for his or her own conscience.
We Harvest What We Plant
6And those who are taught the Word must share all good things with their teacher; a sharing of wealth takes place between them.
7Make no mistake about it, God will never be mocked! For what you plant will always be the very thing you harvest. 8The harvest you reap reveals the seed that was planted. If you plant the corrupt seeds of self-life into this natural realm, you can expect to experience a harvest of corruption. If you plant the good seeds of Spirit-life you will reap the beautiful fruits that grow from the everlasting life of the Spirit.
9And don’t allow yourselves to be weary or disheartened in planting good seeds, for the season of reaping the wonderful harvest you’ve planted is coming! 10Take advantage of every opportunity to be a blessing to others, especially to our brothers and sisters in the family of faith!
Summary and Conclusion
11I’ve written this letter to you with my own handwriting—see how large I have to make the letters? 12All those who insist that you be circumcised are recruiting you so they can boast in their own works. They are attempting to avoid the persecution that comes with preaching the liberating message of the cross of Messiah! 13Not even those who are circumcised keep every detail of the written law. Yet they push you to be circumcised so that they can boast that you have become like them.
14My only boast is in the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, our Messiah. In him I have been crucified to this natural realm; and the natural realm is dead to me and no longer dominates my life.
15Circumcision doesn’t mean a thing to me. The only thing that really matters is living by the transforming power of this wonderful new creation life. 16And all those who live in agreement with this standard will have true peace and God’s delight, for they are the Israel of God.
17From now on, let no one bring me trouble or criticism, for I am carrying the very scars of our Lord Jesus in my body. 18Finally my beloved ones—may the wonderful grace of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, be flowing in your spirit. So shall it be!
In Messiah’s love,