1 I mean this: As long as the heir is a minor, he is no better than a slave, although he is the owner of all the property, 2 but he is under guardians and trustees until the time fixed by his father. 3 So when we were minors, we were slaves to material ways of looking at things, 4 but when the proper time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, and made subject to law, 5 to ransom those who were subject to law, so that we might receive adoption. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent into our hearts the spirit of his Son, with the cry, "Abba!" that is, Father. 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir, made so by God.
8 But formerly, in your ignorance of God, you were slaves to gods that really did not exist, 9 but now that you know God, or rather have come to be known by him, how can you turn back to the old, crude notions, so poor and weak, and wish to become slaves to them again? 10 You are observing days, months, seasons, and years! 11 I begin to be afraid that perhaps the labor I spent on you was wasted.
12 Take my position, I beg you, brothers, just as I once took yours! You took no advantage of me then; 13 though you know that it was because of an illness that I preached the good news to you that first time; 14 and yet what must have tried you in my physical condition, you did not scorn and despise, but you welcomed me like an angel of God, like Christ Jesus himself.
15 What has become of that satisfaction of yours? For I can bear witness that you would have torn out your very eyes, if you could, and given them to me! 16 Have I turned into an enemy to you, by telling you the truth? 17 These men are making much of you, but not with honorable intentions. They want to shut you out, so that you will have to make much of them. 18 But it is a finer thing to be made much of honestly and constantly??ot just when I can be with you, 19 my children??ou for whom I am enduring a mother's pains again, until Christ is formed in you. 20 I wish I could be with you now, and use a different tone with you, for I do not know which way to turn about you.
21 Tell me this, you who want to be subject to law: Will you not listen to the Law? 22 For the Scripture says that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave-girl, and one by the free woman. 23 But the child of the slave-girl was born in the ordinary course of nature, while the child of the free woman was born in fulfilment of the promise. 24 This is an allegorical utterance. For the women are two agreements, one coming from Mount Sinai, bearing children that are to be slaves; that is, Hagar 25 (and Hagar means Mount Sinai, in Arabia), and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for Jerusalem is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For the Scripture says, "Rejoice, childless woman, who bear no children, Break into shouting, you who have no birth pains! For the desolate woman has more children than the married one!"
28 Now we, brothers, are like Isaac, children born in fulfilment of the promise. 29 But just as then the child born in the ordinary course of nature persecuted the one born through the influence of the Spirit, so it is today. 30 Yet what does the Scripture say? "Drive the slave-girl and her son away, for the slave-girl's son shall not share the inheritance with the son of the free woman."
31 So, brothers, we are children not of a slave but of one who is free.