See Verse / Commentary

Galatians

Let me explain. As long as an heir is under age, he is not different from a slave even though he is destined to be master of everything. He remains under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. So we also were formerly under age, held in bondage under the elemental principles of the world. But when the time was right, God sent forth His Son, who came into existence from a woman and under the Law, to redeem those under the Law and give us the status of sons and daughters. Because you are children, God sent the spirit of His Son into our hearts, calling, “Abba! Dear Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and since you are a child, you are an heir through God. Before you knew God, you were enslaved to beings which by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back to the weak and worthless elemental principles? Do you really want to be enslaved to them again? You are observing special days, months, seasons and years. I am fearful for you that I have somehow labored over you for nothing. I beg of you, brothers and sisters: become like me because I became like you. You have done me no harm. You remember that it was because of a physical sickness that I first announced the Gospel to you. And you did not treat me with contempt or reject me even though my bodily condition was a trial to you. Instead you received me as though I were an angel of God or even Messiah Jesus himself. So what has happened to that sense of blessing you had? For I can vouch for the fact that, if possible, you would have pulled out your eyes and given them to me. Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth? These people eagerly seek you, but not for any good reasons. On the contrary, they want to isolate you from us so that you will eagerly seek them. But it is good always to be eagerly sought for the right reasons, and not just when I am present with you. My children, I am again suffering birth pains until Messiah is formed in you. I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you. Tell me, you who want to be under the Law, do you not listen to what the Law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one from the slave woman and one from the free woman. The son from the slave woman was born of the flesh, while the son from the free woman was born through the promise. These two women are an allegory for two covenants. Hagar represents the covenant from Mount Sinai, bearing children into slavery. Hagar is a symbol of Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, because the city is in slavery with her children. But Sarah represents the heavenly Jerusalem — free and the mother of us all. For it is written, “Rejoice, childless and barren one! Burst out in shouting, the one not suffering birth pains — because the deserted woman will have many more children than the woman with a husband.” Brothers and sisters, you are children of the promise, like Isaac. And just as it was then, so it is now: the one born of the flesh persecutes the one born of the spirit. But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, because the son of the slave woman will not inherit along with the son of the free woman.” So then, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman.

Galatians