1 But I say that so long as the heir is a child, he does not differ from a bondservant, though he is owner of the estate.
2 He is under guardians and stewards until the day set by the father.
3 When we were children, we too were held in bondage. We were slaves to the arrangement of this world.
4 When the full time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
5 that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
6 Because you are sons, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 So you are no longer slaves but a son. And as a son God has made you an heir.
8 However at that time, you did not know God. You were in bondage to things that are really not gods at all.
9 Now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and poor fundamental things? Do you want to slave for them all over again?
10 You observe days and months, seasons and years.
11 I fear for you, that I have labored for you to no purpose and failed.
12 I beg you, brothers, become as I am, for I also used to be as you are. You did me no wrong.
13 You know that because of an infirmity of the flesh I preached the good news to you the first time.
14 That which was a temptation to you in my flesh, you did not despise or reject. You received me like an angel messenger of God, even like Christ Jesus.
15 Where then is your positive attitude? I bear you witness, that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me.
16 So then have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
17 They zealously eagerly seek you in no good way. They desire to shut you out, that you may seek them.
18 It is good to be zealously sought in a good matter at all times, and not only when I am present with you.
19 My little children, of whom I am again in labor pains until Christ is formed in you
20 I wish to be present with you now, and to speak in a different way, for I am perplexed about you.
21 Tell me, you that desire to be under the Law; do you not hear the Law?
22 It is written, that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman, and one by the freewoman.
23 How is it that the son by the slave woman is born after the flesh; but the son by the freewoman is born through promise?
25 Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia. She corresponds to the Jerusalem that now is. She is in bondage with her children.
26 The Jerusalem above is free. She is our mother.
27 It is written, »Rejoice, barren woman who does not give birth. Break forth and cry, you who do not labor; for there are more children of the desolate than of the one who has the husband.«
28 Brothers, we are children who belong to the promise, the same as Isaac was.
29 Just like then, the son who was conceived in a natural way according to the flesh persecuted the son conceived in a spiritual way. That is exactly what is happening now!
30 What do the scriptures say? »Throw out the slave woman and her son. For the son of the slave woman must not share the inheritance with the son of the free woman.« (Genesis 21:10)
31 Brothers, we are not children of a slave woman but of the free woman.