4 1 But I say that as long as the son is a child, he is in no way different from a servant, though he is lord of all; 2 But is under keepers and managers till the time fixed by the father. 3 So we, when we were young, were kept under the first rules of the world; 4 But when the time had come, God sent out his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 That he might make them free who were under the law, and that we might be given the place of sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent out the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, saying, Abba, Father. 7 So that you are no longer a servant, but a son; and if a son, then the heritage of God is yours.
Warning against Returning to Bondage
8 But at that time, having no knowledge of God, you were servants to those who by right are no gods: 9 But now that you have come to have knowledge of God, or more truly, God has knowledge of you, how is it that you go back again to the poor and feeble first things, desiring to be servants to them again? 10 You keep days, and months, and fixed times, and years. 11 I am in fear of you, that I may have been working for you to no purpose.
12 My desire for you, brothers, is that you may be as I am, because I am as you are. You have done me no wrong; 13 But you have knowledge that with a feeble body I was preaching the good news to you the first time; 14 And you did not have a poor opinion of me because of the trouble in my flesh, or put shame on it; but you took me to your hearts as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 Where then is that happy condition of yours? because I give you witness, that, if possible, you would have taken out your eyes and given them to me. 16 So then am I no longer your friend, because I give you true words?
17 Their interest in you is not good; but their desire is that you may be shut out, so that you may go after them. 18 But it is good to have an interest in a good cause at all times, and not only when I am present with you.
The Allegory of Hagar and Sarah
21 Say, you whose desire it is to be under the law, do you not give ear to the law? 22 Because it is in the Writings, that Abraham had two sons, one by the servant-woman, and one by the free woman. 23 Now the son by the servant-woman has his birth after the flesh; but the son by the free woman has his birth through the undertaking of God. 24 Which things have a secret sense; because these women are the two agreements; one from the mountain of Sinai, giving birth to servants, which is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is the mountain Sinai in Arabia, and is the image of the Jerusalem which now is: which is a servant with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem on high is free, which is our mother. 27 For it is in the Writings, You who have never given birth, be glad; give cries of joy, you who have had no birth-pains; for the children of her who has been given up by her husband are more than those of the woman who has a husband. 28 Now we, brothers, as Isaac was, are the children of the undertaking of God. 29 But as in those days he who had birth after the flesh was cruel to him who had birth after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 What then do the Writings say? Send away the servant-woman and her son; for the son of the servant-woman will not have a part in the heritage with the son of the free woman. 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the servant-woman, but of the free woman.
Stand Fast in Liberty
5 1 Christ has truly made us free: then keep your free condition and let no man put a yoke on you again. 2 See, I Paul say to you, that if you undergo circumcision, Christ will be of no use to you. 3 Yes, I give witness again to every man who undergoes circumcision, that he will have to keep all the law. 4 You are cut off from Christ, you who would have righteousness by the law; you are turned away from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit by faith are waiting for the hope of righteousness. 6 Because in Christ Jesus, having circumcision or not having circumcision are equally of no profit; but only faith working through love. 7 You were going on well; who was the cause of your not giving ear to what is true? 8 This ready belief did not come from him who had made you his. 9 A little leaven makes a change in all the mass. 10 I am certain about you in the Lord, that you will be of no other mind; but he who is troubling you will have his punishment, whoever he is. 11 But I, brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still attacked? then has the shame of the cross been taken away. 12 My desire is that they who give you trouble might even be cut off themselves.
13 Because you, brothers, were marked out to be free; only do not make use of your free condition to give the flesh its chance, but through love be servants one to another. 14 For all the law is made complete in one word, even in this, Have love for your neighbour as for yourself. 15 But if you are given to fighting with one another, take care that you are not the cause of destruction one to another.
The Fruit of the Spirit and the Works of the Flesh
16 But I say, Go on in the Spirit, and you will not come under the rule of the evil desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; because these are opposite the one to the other; so that you may not do the things which you have a mind to do. 18 But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are clear, which are these: evil desire, unclean things, wrong use of the senses, 20 Worship of images, use of strange powers, hates, fighting, desire for what another has, angry feelings, attempts to get the better of others, divisions, false teachings, 21 Envy, uncontrolled drinking and feasting, and such things: of which I give you word clearly, even as I did in the past, that they who do such things will have no part in the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, a quiet mind, kind acts, well-doing, faith, 23 Gentle behaviour, control over desires: against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have put to death on the cross the flesh with its passions and its evil desires. 25 If we are living by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us be guided. 26 Let us not be full of self-glory, making one another angry, having envy of one another.
6 1 Brothers, if a man is taken in any wrongdoing, you who are of the Spirit will put such a one right in a spirit of love; keeping watch on yourself, for fear that you yourself may be tested. 2 Take on yourselves one another's troubles, and so keep the law of Christ. 3 For if a man has an idea that he is something when he is nothing, he is tricked by himself. 4 But let every man make test of his work, and then will his cause for glory be in himself only, and not in his neighbour. 5 Because every man is responsible for his part of the work. 6 But let him who gets teaching in the word give a part in all good things to his teacher. 7 Be not tricked; God is not made sport of: for whatever seed a man puts in, that will he get back as grain. 8 Because he who puts in the seed of the flesh will of the flesh get the reward of death; but he who puts in the seed of the Spirit will of the Spirit get the reward of eternal life. 9 And let us not get tired of well-doing; for at the right time we will get in the grain, if we do not give way to weariness. 10 So then, as we have the chance, let us do good to all men, and specially to those who are of the family of the faith.
Paul Glories in the Cross
11 See the size of the handwriting which I myself have made use of in writing to you. 12 Those who have the desire to seem important in the flesh, put force on you to undergo circumcision; only that they may not be attacked because of the cross of Christ. 13 Because even those who undergo circumcision do not themselves keep the law; but they would have you undergo circumcision, so that they may have glory in your flesh. 14 But far be it from me to have glory in anything, but only in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which this world has come to an end on the cross for me, and I for it. 15 For having circumcision is nothing, and not having circumcision is nothing, but only a new order of existence. 16 And on all who are guided by this rule be peace and mercy, and on the Israel of God. 17 From this time on let no man be a trouble to me; because my body is marked with the marks of Jesus.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. So be it.