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(A) under the elemental spiritual forces[a] of the world.(B) But when the set time had fully come,(C) God sent his Son,(D) born of a woman,(E) born under the law,(F) to redeem(G) those under the law, that we might receive adoption(H) to sonship.[b](I) Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son(J) into our hearts,(K) the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[c] Father.”(L) So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.(M)

Paul’s Concern for the Galatians

Formerly, when you did not know God,(N) you were slaves(O) to those who by nature are not gods.(P)

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. Galatians 4:3 Or under the basic principles
  2. 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.
  3. Galatians 4:6 Aramaic for Father

Bible Gateway Recommends

NIV Large-Print Outreach Bible--softcover, orange cross
NIV Large-Print Outreach Bible--softcover, orange cross
Retail: $7.99
Our Price: $5.49
Save: $2.50 (31%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
NIV Life Application Study Bible 2nd Edition, Hardcover
NIV Life Application Study Bible 2nd Edition, Hardcover
Retail: $39.99
Our Price: $26.49
Save: $13.50 (34%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
NIV Value Outreach Bible, Paperback
NIV Value Outreach Bible, Paperback
Retail: $3.99
Our Price: $2.99
Save: $1.00 (25%)
4.0 of 5.0 stars
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
Retail: $18.99
Our Price: $9.99
Save: $9.00 (47%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars

Bible Gateway Sponsors