Galatians 5:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Galatians 5:6, NIV: "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."

Galatians 5:6, ESV: "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love."

Galatians 5:6, KJV: "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

Galatians 5:6, NASB: "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love."

Galatians 5:6, NLT: "For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love."

Galatians 5:6, CSB: "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love."

What does Galatians 5:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has harshly condemned those who "accept circumcision" in hopes of being justified before God. Christ's death for sin on the cross is useless to them. Either we trust in Christ or we don't; we can't trust entirely in Him by faith, and simultaneously trust our ability to follow the law (Galatians 5:2–4).

Here, Paul clarifies that circumcision is not evil in itself. His point is not that circumcision is to be avoided at all costs, or that it makes a person unfit for Christ. Rather, those rituals and sacraments don't really matter, now that Christ has come. To be circumcised or not circumcised means nothing, at all, in terms of God's judgment of us. All that matters is if we are in Christ by faith. God accepts Christ, and He accepts all who are in Christ, no matter their works.

Now Paul adds a new idea. He writes that in Christ all that counts is faith "working through love." Paul will expand on this idea in the following verses, but it's the first hint that our faith in Christ should motivate some response in how we live. Those who believe that God loves them in and through Christ will begin to respond by loving God and others, as well.