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 .