Now I say that as long as the heir is a child, he differs in no way from a slave, though he is the owner of everything.
Instead, he is under guardians and stewards until the time set by his father.
In the same way we also, when we were children, were in slavery under the elemental forces of the world.
But when the completion of the time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba, Father!"
So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
But in the past, when you didn't know God, you were enslaved to things that by nature are not gods.
But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and bankrupt elemental forces? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again?
You observe [special] days, months, seasons, and years.
I am fearful for you, that perhaps my labor for you has been wasted.
I beg you, brothers: become like me, for I also became like you. You have not wronged me;
you know that previously I preached the gospel to you in physical weakness,
and though my physical condition was a trial for you, you did not despise or reject me. On the contrary, you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus [Himself].
What happened to this blessedness of yours? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.
Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
They are enthusiastic about you, but not for any good. Instead, they want to isolate you so you will be enthusiastic about them.
Now it is always good to be enthusiastic about good-and not just when I am with you.
My children, again I am in the pains of childbirth for you until Christ is formed in you.
I'd like to be with you right now and change my tone of voice, because I don't know what to do about you.
Tell me, you who want to be under the law, don't you hear the law?
For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and the other by a free woman.
But the one by the slave was born according to the flesh, while the one by the free woman was born as the result of a promise.
These things are illustrations, for the women represent the two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai and bears children into slavery-this is Hagar.
Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.
But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.
For it is written: Rejoice, O barren woman who does not give birth. Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor, for the children of the desolate are many, more numerous than those of the woman who has a husband.
Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.
But just as then the child born according to the flesh persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, so also now.
But what does the Scripture say? Throw out the slave and her son, for the son of the slave will never inherit with the son of the free woman.
Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.