Living as Heirs
1Now I am saying, so long as the heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, even though he is the owner of everything.
2Instead, he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.
3So also, when we were underage, we were subservient to the basic principles of the world.
4But when the fullness of time came, God sent out His Son, born of a woman and born under law—
5to free those under law, so we might receive adoption as sons.
6Now because you are sons, God sent the Ruach of His Son into our hearts, who cries out, “Abba! Father!”
7So you are no longer a slave but a son—and if a son, also an heir through God.
8But at that time, when you did not know God, you served those who by nature are not gods at all.
9But now you have come to know God—or rather you have come to be known by God. So how can you turn back again to those weak and worthless principles? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again?
10You observe days and months and seasons and years.
11I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain!
12I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You have done me no wrong—
13you know it was because of a physical ailment that I proclaimed the Good News to you the first time;
14and though my physical condition was a trial to you, you did not hate or reject me. No, you welcomed me as a messenger of God—or even as Messiah Yeshua.
15So where is your sense of joy? For I testify that you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me, if possible.
16So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?!
17Others zealously court you—not in a good way, but they wish to shut you out so that you will court them.
18To be courted is good, but let it always be in a good way—and not just when I am there with you.
19My dear children! Again I suffer labor pains until Messiah is formed in you.
20I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, for I don’t know what to make of you.
Midrash on Abraham’s Two Sons
21Tell me, you who want to be under Torah, don’t you understand the Torah?
22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and one by the free woman.
23But one—the son by the slave woman—was born naturally; while the other—the son by the free woman—was through the promise.
24Now these things are being treated allegorically, for these are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, giving birth to slavery—this is Hagar.
25But this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery along with her children.
26But the Jerusalem above is free—she is our mother.
27For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren woman who bears no children. Break forth and shout, you who suffer no labor pains. For more are the children of the desolate than of the one who has a husband.”
28Now you, brothers and sisters—like Isaac, you are children of promise.
29But just as at that time the one born according to the flesh persecuted the one born according to the Ruach, so it is now.
30But what does the Scripture say? “Drive out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son” of the free woman.
31So then, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman.