4 1 Now I say , as long as the heir is a child , he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything , 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father . 3 So also we, while we were children , were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world . 4 But when the fullness of the time came , God sent forth His Son , born of a woman , born under the Law , 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law , that we might receive the adoption as sons . 6 Because you are sons , God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts , crying , " Abba ! Father !" 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave , but a son ; and if a son , then an heir through God .
Warning against Returning to Bondage
8 However at that time , 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 , to which 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 I beg of you, brethren , become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong ; 13 but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time ; 14 and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe , but you received me as an angel of God , as Christ Jesus Himself. 15 Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I bear you witness that, if possible , you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. 16 So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth ?
17 They eagerly seek you, not commendably , but they wish to shut you out so that you will seek them. 18 But it is good always to be eagerly sought in a commendable manner , and not only when I am present with you.
The Allegory of Hagar and Sarah
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 bondwoman and one by the free woman . 23 But the son by the bondwoman 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 proceeding 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 ; she is our mother . 27 For it is written , " REJOICE , BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR ; BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT , YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR ; FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DESOLATE THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND ." 28 And 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 also . 30 But what does the Scripture say ? " CAST OUT THE BONDWOMAN AND HER SON , FOR THE SON OF THE BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE AN HEIR WITH THE SON OF THE FREE WOMAN ." 31 So then , brethren , we are not children of a bondwoman , but of the free woman .
Stand Fast in Liberty
5 1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free ; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery . 2 Behold I, Paul , say to you that if you receive circumcision , Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision , that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law . 4 You have been severed from Christ , you who are seeking to be justified by law ; you have fallen from grace . 5 For we through the Spirit , by faith , are waiting for the hope of righteousness . 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything , but faith working through love . 7 You were running well ; who hindered you from obeying the truth ? 8 This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. 10 I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view ; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment , whoever e he is. 11 But I, brethren , if I still preach circumcision , why am I still persecuted ? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished . 12 I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.
13 For you were called to freedom , brethren ; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh , but through love serve one another . 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word , in the statement, " YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF ." 15 But if you bite and devour one another , take care that you are not consumed by one another .
The Fruit of the Spirit and the Works of the Flesh
16 But I say , walk by the Spirit , and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh . 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit , and the Spirit against the flesh ; for these are in opposition to one another , so that you may not do the things that you please . 18 But if you are led by the Spirit , you are not under the Law . 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident , which are: immorality , impurity , sensuality , 20 idolatry , sorcery , enmities , strife , jealousy , outbursts of anger , disputes , dissensions , factions , 21 envying , drunkenness , carousing , and things like these , of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God . 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love , joy , peace , patience , kindness , goodness , faithfulness , 23 gentleness , self-control ; against such things there is no law . 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires . 25 If we live by the Spirit , let us also walk by the Spirit . 26 Let us not become boastful , challenging one another , envying one another .
6 1 Brethren , even if anyone is caught in any trespass , you who are spiritual , restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness ; each one looking to yourself , so that you too will not be tempted . 2 Bear one another's burdens , and thereby fulfill the law of Christ . 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing , he deceives himself . 4 But each one must examine his own work , and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone , and not in regard to another . 5 For each one will bear his own load . 6 The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. 7 Do not be deceived , God is not mocked ; for whatever e a man sows , this he will also reap . 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption , but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life . 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good , for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary . 10 So then , while we have opportunity , let us do good to all people , and especially to those who are of the household of the faith .
Paul Glories in the Cross
11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand . 12 Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised , simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ . 13 For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves , but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh . 14 But may it never be that I would boast , except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ , through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world . 15 For neither is circumcision anything , nor uncircumcision , but a new creation . 16 And those who will walk by this rule , peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God . 17 From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus .
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit , brethren . Amen .