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Galatians 4 (Today's New International Version)

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1 What I am saying is that as long as heirs are underage they are no different from slaves, although they own the whole estate. 2 They are subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by their fathers. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery1 under the elemental spiritual forcesa of the world.2 4 But when the set time had fully come,3 God sent his Son,4 born of a woman,5 born under the law,6 5 to redeem7 those under the law, that we might receive adoption8 to sonship.b9 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son10 into our hearts,11 the Spirit who calls out, ""Abba",c Father."12 7 So you are no longer slaves, but God's children; and since you are his children, he has made you also heirs.13

Paul's Concern for the Galatians

8 Formerly, when you did not know God,14 you were slaves15 to those who by nature are not gods.16 9 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 forcesd? Do you wish to be enslaved18 by them all over again?19 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!20 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.21 12 I plead with you, brothers and sisters,22 become like me, for I became like you. You have done me no wrong. 13 As you know, it was because of an illness23 that I first preached the gospel to you. 14 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.24 15 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. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?25 17 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 have zeal for them.26 18 It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you.27 19 My dear children,28 for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,29 20 how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!

Hagar and Sarah

21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law,30 are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman31 and the other by the free woman.32 23 His son by the slave woman was born as the result of human effort,e33 but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise.34 24 I am taking these things figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above35 is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written: "Be glad, barren woman, you who never bore a child; shout for joy and cry aloud, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband."f36 28 Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise.37 29 At that time the son born by human effort38 persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit.39 It is the same now. 30 But what does Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son."g40 31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman,41 but of the free woman.42
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