4 1 Now I say, As long as the heir is a child, he differs nothing from a bondman, though he be lord of all; 2 but he is under guardians and stewards until the period fixed by the father. 3 So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the principles of the world; 4 but when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, come of woman, come under law, 5 that he might redeem those under law, that we might receive sonship. 6 But because ye are sons, God has sent out the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 So thou art no longer bondman, but son; but if son, heir also through God.
Warning against Returning to Bondage
8 But then indeed, not knowing God, ye were in bondage to those who by nature are not gods; 9 but now, knowing God, but rather being known by God, how do ye turn again to the weak and beggarly principles to which ye desire to be again anew in bondage? 10 Ye observe days and months and times and years. 11 I am afraid of you, lest indeed I have laboured in vain as to you.
12 Be as I [am], for I also [am] as ye, brethren, I beseech you: ye have not at all wronged me. 13 But ye know that in weakness of the flesh I announced the glad tidings to you at the first; 14 and my temptation, which [was] in my flesh, ye did not slight nor reject with contempt; but ye received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 What then [was] your blessedness? for I bear you witness that, if possible, plucking out your own eyes ye would have given [them] to me. 16 So I have become your enemy in speaking the truth to you?
17 They are not rightly zealous after you, but desire to shut you out [from us], that ye may be zealous after them. 18 But [it is] right to be zealous at all times in what is right, and not only when I am present with you—
The Allegory of Hagar and Sarah
21 Tell me, ye who are desirous of being under law, do ye not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons; one of the maid servant, and one of the free woman. 23 But he [that was] of the maid servant was born according to flesh, and he [that was] of the free woman through the promise. 24 Which things have an allegorical sense; for these are two covenants: one from mount Sinai, gendering to bondage, which is Hagar. 25 For Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which [is] now, for she is in bondage with her children; 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is our mother. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break out and cry, thou that travailest not; because the children of the desolate are more numerous than [those] of her that has a husband. 28 But ye, brethren, after the pattern of Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born according to flesh persecuted him [that was born] according to Spirit, so also [it is] now. 30 But what says the scripture? Cast out the maid servant and her son; for the son of the maid servant shall not inherit with the son of the free woman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not maid servant's children, but [children] of the free woman.
Stand Fast in Liberty
5 1 Christ has set us free in freedom; stand fast therefore, and be not held again in a yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I, Paul, say to you, that if ye are circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 And I witness again to every man [who is] circumcised, that he is debtor to do the whole law. 4 Ye are deprived of all profit from the Christ as separated [from him], as many as are justified by law; ye have fallen from grace. 5 For we, by [the] Spirit, on the principle of faith, await the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision has any force, nor uncircumcision; but faith working through love. 7 Ye ran well; who has stopped you that ye should not obey the truth? 8 The persuasibleness [is] not of him that calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence as to you in [the] Lord, that ye will have no other mind; and he that is troubling you shall bear the guilt [of it], whosoever he may be. 11 But I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why am I yet persecuted? Then the scandal of the cross has been done away. 12 I would that they would even cut themselves off who throw you into confusion.
13 For ye have been called to liberty, brethren; only [do] not [turn] liberty into an opportunity to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; 15 but if ye bite and devour one another, see that ye are not consumed one of another.
The Fruit of the Spirit and the Works of the Flesh
16 But I say, Walk in [the] Spirit, and ye shall no way fulfil flesh's lust. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these things are opposed one to the other, that ye should not do those things which ye desire; 18 but if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strifes, jealousies, angers, contentions, disputes, schools of opinion, 21 envyings, murders, drunkennesses, revels, and things like these; as to which I tell you beforehand, even as I also have said before, that they who do such things shall not inherit God's kingdom. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, fidelity, 23 meekness, self-control: against such things there is no law. 24 But they that [are] of the Christ have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us walk also by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become vain-glorious, provoking one another, envying one another.
6 1 Brethren, if even a man be taken in some fault, ye who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of meekness, considering thyself lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfil the law of the Christ. 3 For if any man reputes himself to be something, being nothing, he deceives himself; 4 but let each prove his own work, and then he will have his boast in what belongs to himself alone, and not in what belongs to another. 5 For each shall bear his own burden. 6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate to him that teaches in all good things. 7 Be not deceived: God is not mocked; for whatever a man shall sow, that also shall he reap. 8 For he that sows to his own flesh, shall reap corruption from the flesh; but he that sows to the Spirit, from the Spirit shall reap eternal life: 9 but let us not lose heart in doing good; for in due time, if we do not faint, we shall reap. 10 So then, as we have occasion, let us do good towards all, and specially towards those of the household of faith.
Paul Glories in the Cross
11 See how long a letter I have written to you with my own hand. 12 As many as desire to have a fair appearance in [the] flesh, these compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not be persecuted because of the cross of Christ. 13 For neither do they that are circumcised themselves keep the law; but they wish you to be circumcised, that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But far be it from me to boast save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom [the] world is crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For [in Christ Jesus] neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision; but new creation. 16 And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace upon them and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. 17 For the rest let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the brands of the Lord Jesus.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with your spirit, brethren. Amen.