Galatians 4:1-11

Galatians 4:1-3-8-11 The Message (MSG)

Let me show you the implications of this. As long as the heir is a minor, he has no advantage over the slave. Though legally he owns the entire inheritance, he is subject to tutors and administrators until whatever date the father has set for emancipation. That is the way it is with us: When we were minors, we were just like slaves ordered around by simple instructions (the tutors and administrators of this world), with no say in the conduct of our own lives. But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance. Earlier, before you knew God personally, you were enslaved to so-called gods that had nothing of the divine about them. But now that you know the real God—or rather since God knows you—how can you possibly subject yourselves again to those paper tigers? For that is exactly what you do when you are intimidated into scrupulously observing all the traditions, taboos, and superstitions associated with special days and seasons and years. I am afraid that all my hard work among you has gone up in a puff of smoke!

Galatians 4:1-11 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Now what I mean [when I talk about children and their guardians] is this: as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave even though he is the [future owner and] master of all [the estate]; but he is under [the authority of] guardians and household administrators or managers until the date set by his father [when he is of legal age]. So also we [whether Jews or Gentiles], when we were children (spiritually immature), were kept like slaves under the elementary [man-made religious or philosophical] teachings of the world. But when [in God’s plan] the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the [regulations of the] Law, so that He might redeem and liberate those who were under the Law, that we [who believe] might be adopted as sons [as God’s children with all rights as fully grown members of a family]. And because you [really] are [His] sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave (bond-servant), but a son; and if a son, then also an heir through [the gracious act of] God [through Christ]. But at that time, when you did not know [the true] God and were unacquainted with Him, you [Gentiles] were slaves to those [pagan] things which by [their very] nature were not and could not be gods at all. Now, however, since you have come to know [the true] God [through personal experience], or rather to be known by God, how is it that you are turning back again to the weak and worthless elemental principles [of religions and philosophies], to which you want to be enslaved all over again? [For example,] you observe [particular] days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored [to the point of exhaustion] over you in vain.

Galatians 4:1-11 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Let me illustrate: As long as an heir is a minor, he’s not really much different than a servant, although he’s the master over all of them. For until the time appointed by the father, the child is under the domestic supervision of the guardians of the estate. So it is with us. When we were juveniles we were enslaved under the hostile spirits of the world. But when the time of fulfillment had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law. Yet all of this was so that he would redeem and set free those held hostage to the law so that we would receive our freedom and a full legal adoption as his children. And so that we would know that we are his true children, God released the Spirit of Sonship into our hearts—moving us to cry out intimately, “My Father! My true Father!” Now we’re no longer living like slaves under the law, but we enjoy being God’s very own sons and daughters! And because we’re his, we can access everything our Father has—for we are heirs because of what God has done! Before we knew God as our Father, we were unwitting servants to the powers that be, which are nothing compared to God. But now that we truly know him and are intimately known by him, why would we for a moment consider turning back to those weak and feeble principles of religion, as though we were still subject to them? Why would we want to scrupulously observe rituals like special days, celebrations of the new moon, annual festivals, and sacred years? I’m so alarmed about you that I’m beginning to wonder if my labor in ministry among you was a waste of time!