Holman Christian Standard Bible
1Now I say that as long as the heir is a child, he differs in no way from a slave, though he is the owner of everything. 2Instead, he is under guardians and stewards until the time set by his father. 3In the same way we also, when we were children, were in slavery under the elemental forces of the world. 4When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba, Father!" 7So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
8But in the past, when you didn't know God, you were enslaved to things that by nature are not gods. 9But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and bankrupt elemental forces? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again? 10You observe special days, months, seasons, and years. 11I am fearful for you, that perhaps my labor for you has been wasted.
12I beg you, brothers: Become like me, for I also became like you. You have not wronged me; 13you know that previously I preached the gospel to you because of a physical illness. 14You did not despise or reject me though my physical condition was a trial for you. On the contrary, you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself. 15What happened to this sense of being blessed you had? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17They are enthusiastic about you, but not for any good. Instead, they want to isolate you so you will be enthusiastic about them. 18Now it is always good to be enthusiastic about good--and not just when I am with you. 19My children, I am again suffering labor pains for you until Christ is formed in you. 20I would like to be with you right now and change my tone of voice, because I don't know what to do about you.
21Tell me, those of you who want to be under the law, don't you hear the law? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and the other by a free woman. 23But the one by the slave was born according to the impulse of the flesh, while the one by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. 24These things are illustrations, for the women represent the two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai and bears children into slavery--this is Hagar. 25Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.
27For it is written: Rejoice, childless woman, who does not give birth. Burst into song and shout, you who are not in labor, for the children of the desolate are many, more numerous than those of the woman who has a husband.
28Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29But just as then the child born according to the flesh persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, so also now.
30But what does the Scripture say? Drive out the slave and her son, for the son of the slave will never be a coheir with the son of the free woman.
31Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.