19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions(A) until the Seed(B) to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels(C) and entrusted to a mediator.(D) 20 A mediator,(E) however, implies more than one party; but God is one.

21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not!(F) For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.(G) 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin,(H) so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

Children of God

23 Before the coming of this faith,[a] we were held in custody(I) under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed.(J) 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came(K) that we might be justified by faith.(L) 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.(M)

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God(N) through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ(O) have clothed yourselves with Christ.(P) 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free,(Q) nor is there male and female,(R) for you are all one in Christ Jesus.(S) 29 If you belong to Christ,(T) then you are Abraham’s seed,(U) and heirs(V) according to the promise.(W)

What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery(X) under the elemental spiritual forces[b] of the world.(Y)


  1. Galatians 3:23 Or through the faithfulness of Jesus … 23 Before faith came
  2. Galatians 4:3 Or under the basic principles