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And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles[a] of this world.

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.[b] And because we[c] are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”[d] Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child.[e] And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

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  1. 4:3 Or powers; also in 4:9.
  2. 4:5 Greek sons; also in 4:6.
  3. 4:6a Greek you.
  4. 4:6b Abba is an Aramaic term for “father.”
  5. 4:7 Greek son; also in 4:7b.

19 Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.

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