1 NOW I affirm, that as long as the heir is an infant, he differeth nothing from a servant, though he be master of all; 2 but is under tutors and trustees until the time fixed by his father. 3 So we also, when we were infants, were in bondage under the first elementary principles of the world: 4 but when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son born of a woman, born under the law, 5 that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 But because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father! 7 Therefore thou art no more a slave, but a son, and if a son, an heir also of God through Christ.
8 But at that time when ye knew not God, ye served those who by nature are not gods. 9 But now after having known God, or rather being known of God, how turn ye back again to those weak and beggarly elements, to which again a second time ye desire to be in bondage? 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest haply I have bestowed on you labour in vain.
12 Be as I am, for I also am as ye are, brethren??his is my request to you: ye have not injured me in the least. 13 Ye know that with infirmity of flesh I preached to you the gospel at the first. 14 And my temptation, which was in my flesh, ye despised not, nor rejected with disgust; but as an angel of God ye received me, even as Christ Jesus himself.
15 What then was your blessedness, for I bear witness to you that, if it were possible, ye would have plucked out your eyes, and given them to me. 16 Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth? 17 They affect zeal for you, not honourably; but they wish to exclude us, that you may be zealously attached to them. 18 It is good indeed to be zealously affected in a good cause always, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children of whom I travail in birth again, until Christ be formed in you, 20 I wish I could be with you now, and change my address; for I am in doubt about you.
21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondwoman, and the other by a free. 23 Now the son of the bond-maid was born after the flesh, but that by the free woman was by promise. 24 Which things are allegorical; for these are the two covenants, the one from mount Sinai, gendering unto bondage, which is represented by Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds with Jerusalem that now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, "Rejoice, thou barren who bearest not, cry out and shout for joy, thou that travailest not, for more are the children of her that was desolate, than of her which had an husband."
28 So we, brethren, as Isaac, are the children of the promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so is it now. 30 But what saith the scripture? "Cast out the bond-woman and her son for the son of the bond-maid shall in no wise inherit with the son of the free woman."
31 So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman, but of the free.