Galatians 4 New Life Version (NLV)
Sons of God
4 Let me say this another way. A young child who will get all the riches of his family is not different from a servant who is owned by the family. And yet the young child owns everything. 2 While he is young, he is cared for by men his father trusts. These men tell the child what he can and cannot do. The child cannot do what he wants to do until he has become a certain age. 3 We were as children also held by the Law. We obeyed the Law in our religious worship. 4 But at the right time, God sent His Son. A woman gave birth to Him under the Law. 5 This all happened so He could buy with His blood and make free all those who were held by the Law. Then we might become the sons of God. 6 Because you are the sons of God, He has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts. The Spirit cries, “Father!” 7 So now you are no longer a servant who is owned by someone. You are a son. If you are a son, then you will receive what God has promised through Christ.
8 During the time when you did not know God, you worshiped false gods. 9 But now that you know God, or should I say that you are known by God, why do you turn back again to the weak old Law? Why do you want to do those religious acts of worship that will keep you from being free? Why do you want to be held under the power of the Law again? 10 You do special things on certain days and months and years and times of the year. 11 I am afraid my work with you was wasted.
Living by the Law or Being Free
12 I ask you, Christian brothers, stay free from the Law as I am. Even if I am a Jew, I became free from the Law, just as you who are not Jews. You did no wrong to me. 13 You know I preached the Good News to you the first time because of my sickness. 14 Even though I was hard to look at because of my sickness, you did not turn away from me. You took me in as an angel from God. You took me in as you would have taken in Christ Jesus Himself. 15 What has become of the happiness you once had? You would have taken out your own eyes if you could have and given them to me. 16 Do you hate me because I have told you the truth? 17 Those false teachers are trying to turn your eyes toward them. They do not want you to follow my teaching. What they are doing is not good. 18 It is good when people help you if they do not hope to get something from it. They should help you all the time, not only when I am with you. 19 My children, I am suffering birth pain for you again. I will suffer until Christ’s life is in your life. 20 I wish I could be with you now. I wish I could speak to you in a more gentle voice, but I am troubled about you.
21 Listen! If you want to be under the Law, why do you not listen to what it says? 22 The Holy Writings say that Abraham had two sons. One was born from a woman servant (Hagar) who was owned by someone. She had to do what she was told. The other son was born from a woman (Sarah) who was free to work and live as she desired. 23 The son born from the woman servant who was owned by someone was like any other birth. The son born from the free woman was different. That son had been promised by God. 24 Think of it like this: These two women show God’s two ways of working with His people. The children born from Hagar are under the Law given on Mount Sinai. They will be servants who are owned by someone and will always be told what to do! 25 Hagar is known as Mount Sinai in the country of Arabia. She is as Jerusalem is today, because she and her children are not free to do what they want to do. 26 But the Jerusalem of heaven is the free woman, and she is our mother. 27 The Holy Writings say, “Woman, be happy, you who have had no children. Cry for joy, you who have never had the pains of having a child, for you will have many children. Yes, you will have more children than the one who has a husband.” 28 Christian brothers, we are like Isaac. We are the children God promised. 29 At that time the son born as other children are born made it hard for the son born by the Holy Spirit. It is the same way now. 30 But what do the Holy Writings say? They say, “Put the woman servant who is owned by someone and her son out of your home. The son of that woman servant will never get any of the riches of the family. It will all be given to the son of the free woman.” 31 Christian brothers, we are not children of the woman servant who was owned by someone (Hagar). We are children of the free woman (Sarah).