Jesus Christ Came in the Fullness of Time
(1) What I am saying is that as long as heirs are underage, they are no different than a slave—although they actually own the whole estate. (2) The heirs are watched over by guardians and trustees until the time determined by their father for them to receive their inheritance.
(3) In the same way, when we were children (underage), we were enslaved under the basic spiritual forces (principles, evil spirits) of this world. (4) But when the fullness of time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law of Moses, (5) to redeem (rescue) those under the law, so that we would receive adoption to sonship (our full legal status). (6) Because you are his children, God sent the Holy Spirit of his Son into your hearts—the Spirit who cries out, “Abba (“Father” in Aramaic)! Father!” (7) So you are no longer slaves, but God’s children; and since you are his children, God has made you his heirs.
Religious Slaves Once Again
(8) Before you knew God, you were slaves to spirits who by nature are not gods. (9) But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—why is it that you are turning back to serve weak and miserable spiritual forces (principles, evil spirits) of this world? Do you want to be enslaved by them all over again? (10) You are now celebrating special days and months and seasons and years. (11) I fear for you, that I have wasted all my hard work on you.
(12) My brothers and sisters, I beg with you to become like me, because I became like you. You did me no wrong. (13) As you know, it was because of a physical illness that I first proclaimed the gospel (good news) of Christ to you in the Roman province of Galatia. (14) Although my illness was a difficult trial for you, you did not treat me with contempt or despise (reject) me. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel from God, as if I were Jesus Christ himself. (15) I know that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. But where is your blessing for me now? (16) Why have I now become your enemy, by telling you the truth?
Jewish False Teachers in Galatia
(17) These Jews among you are zealous to win you over to their side, but it is not for your good. They desire to separate (isolate) you from us, so that you will be their zealous followers. (18) It is always right to be zealous for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you. (19) My dear children—for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed (fully grown) in you—(20) how I wish I could be with you now and change the tone of my voice, because I’m very perplexed about you!
The Two Covenants of Hagar and Sarah
(21) Tell me, all you believers in Galatia who want to live under the law of Moses, are you not aware of what the law says? (22) For the Bible (Old Testament) tells us that Abraham had two sons—one by a slave woman (Hagar) and the other by a free woman (Sarah).
(23) Abraham’s son, Ishmael, was born to the slave woman Hagar, according to the flesh; but Abraham’s son, Isaac, was born to the free woman Sarah as the result of God’s promise. (24) Speaking allegorically (figuratively), these women represent two different covenants. The covenant of Hagar is from Mount Sinai and produces children of slavery. (25) Now Hagar represents Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. (26) But the Jerusalem that is from above is free, and she is our mother. (27) For as it is written in Isaiah 54:1, “Be glad, O barren woman, who bears no children; break forth and cry aloud, you who have no labor pains, because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.”
(28) My brothers and sisters, now you are children of promise like Isaac. (29) At that time the son Ishmael, who was born according to the flesh, persecuted the son Isaac, who was born by the power of the Holy Spirit. (30) But as Genesis 21:10 says, “Get rid of the slave woman and her son because the son of the slave woman will never share in the inheritance with the son of the free woman.”
(31) Therefore, my brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman Hagar, but we are children of the free woman Sarah!