1 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, although he is the owner of all the estate; 2 but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. 3 So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the elemental things of the world. 4 But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. 9 But 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 worthless elemental things? Do you desire to be enslaved all over again? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.
12 Brethren, I beg you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong; 13 you know it was because of an illness in the flesh that I preached the gospel to you at first; 14 and though my fleshly condition was a trial to you, you did not despise or scorn me, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus himself.
15 What has become of the satisfaction you felt? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They seek you, but for no good purpose; they want to shut you out, so that you may seek them. 18 But it is always good to seek a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you 20 I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
21 Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave and one by the free woman. 23 But the son by the slave was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. 24 This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written, "Rejoice, O barren woman who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in labor; for the children of the desolate are more numerous than the children of her who has a husband."
28 Now you, brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now. 30 But what does the scripture say? "Cast out the slave and her son, for the son of the slave shall not inherit with the son of the free woman."