New International Version
The Law and the Promise
15 Brothers and sisters,(A) let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed.(B) Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”[a](C) meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years(D) later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise;(E) but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions(F) until the Seed(G) to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels(H) and entrusted to a mediator.(I) 20 A mediator,(J) however, implies more than one party; but God is one.
21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not!(K) For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.(L) 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin,(M) 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,[b] we were held in custody(N) under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed.(O) 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came(P) that we might be justified by faith.(Q) 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.(R)
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God(S) through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ(T) have clothed yourselves with Christ.(U) 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free,(V) nor is there male and female,(W) for you are all one in Christ Jesus.(X) 29 If you belong to Christ,(Y) then you are Abraham’s seed,(Z) and heirs(AA) according to the promise.(AB)
4 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. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery(AC) under the elemental spiritual forces[c] of the world.(AD) 4 But when the set time had fully come,(AE) God sent his Son,(AF) born of a woman,(AG) born under the law,(AH) 5 to redeem(AI) those under the law, that we might receive adoption(AJ) to sonship.[d](AK) 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son(AL) into our hearts,(AM) the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[e] Father.”(AN) 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.(AO)
- Galatians 3:16 Gen. 12:7; 13:15; 24:7
- Galatians 3:23 Or through the faithfulness of Jesus … 23 Before faith came
- Galatians 4:3 Or under the basic principles
- Galatians 4:5 The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture.
- Galatians 4:6 Aramaic for Father