ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 183



3:21–4:14
G alatia n s
171
Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with
God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of
sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus
Christ.
Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed
under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak,
until the way of faith was revealed.
Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came;
it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And
now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our
guardian.
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who
have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting
on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and
female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to
Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s
promise to Abraham belongs to you.
Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his
young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until
they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had.
They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were
like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles 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. And because we are
his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting
us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own
child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that
do not even exist. So now that you know God (or should I say, now that
God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves
once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? You
are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or
seasons or years. I fear for you. Perhaps all my hard work with you was
for nothing.
Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from
these things, for I have become like you Gentiles—free from those laws.
You did not mistreat me when I first preached to you. Surely you remember that I was sick when I first brought you the Good News. But even





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