What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.
He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.
So also, when we were children, we were in slavery1 under the basic principles of the world.24
But when the time had fully come,3 God sent his Son,4 born of a woman,5 born under law,65
to redeem7 those under law, that we might receive the full rights8 of sons.96
Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son10 into our hearts,11 the Spirit who calls out, ""Abba",a Father."127
So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.13
Formerly, when you did not know God,14 you were slaves15 to those who by nature are not gods.169
But now that you know God--or rather are known by God17--how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved18 by them all over again?1910
You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!2011
I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.2112
I plead with you, brothers,22 become like me, for I became like you. You have done me no wrong.
As you know, it was because of an illness23 that I first preached the gospel to you.
Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself.2415
What has happened to all your joy? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.
Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?2517
Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you [from us], so that you may be zealous for them.2618
It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always and not just when I am with you.2719
My dear children,28 for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,2920
how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!