Section 9, Chapter 5
Christ has freed us from the servitude of the law. We are the freeborn sons of Abraham.
4:1. As long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all,
4:2. But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed by the father.
4:3. So we also, when we were children, were serving under the elements of the world.
Under the elements, etc. . .That is, under the first rudiments of religion, in which the carnal Jews were trained up; or under those corporeal creatures, used in their manifold rites, sacrifices, and sacraments.
4:4. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law:
4:5. That he might redeem them who were under the law: that we might receive the adoption of sons.
4:6. And because you are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying: Abba, Father.
4:7. Therefore, now he is not a servant, but a son. And if a son, an heir also through God.
4:8. But then indeed, not knowing God, you served them who, by nature, are not gods.
4:9. But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known by God: how turn you again to the weak and needy elements which you desire to serve again?
4:10. You observe days and months and times, and years.
You observe days, etc. . .He speaks not of the observation of the Lord's day, or other Christian festivals; but either of the superstitious observation of days lucky and unlucky; or else of the Jewish festivals, to the observance of which, certain Jewish teachers sought to induce the Galatians.
4:11. I am afraid of you, lest perhaps I have laboured in vain among you.
4:12. Be ye as I, because I also am as you brethren, I beseech you. You have not injured me at all.
4:13. And you know how, through infirmity of the flesh, I preached the gospel to you heretofore: and your temptation in my flesh
4:14. You despised not, nor rejected: but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
4:15. Where is then your blessedness? For I bear you witness that, if it could be done, you would have plucked out your own eyes and would have given them to me.
4:16. Am I then become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
4:17. They are zealous in your regard not well: but they would exclude you, that you might be zealous for them.
4:18. But be zealous for that which is good in a good thing always: and not only when I am present with you.
4:19. My little children, of whom I am in labour again, until Christ be formed in you.
4:20. And I would willingly be present with you now and change my voice: because I am ashamed for you.
4:21. Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, have you not read the law?
4:22. For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman and the other by a free woman.
4:23. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh: but he of the free woman was by promise.
4:24. Which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments. The one from Mount Sina, engendering unto bondage, which is Agar.
4:25. For Sina is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity to that Jerusalem which now is: and is in bondage with her children.
4:26. But that Jerusalem which is above is free: which is our mother.
4:27. For it is written: Rejoice, thou barren, that bearest not: break forth and cry thou that travailest not: for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband.
4:28. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
4:29. But as then he that was born according to the flesh persecuted him that was after the spirit: so also it is now.
4:30. But what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman.
4:31. So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free.