Galatians 4



Galatians 4 focuses on the theme of adoption as sons through Christ, warns against returning to legalistic practices, and employs allegorical language to illustrate the contrast between bondage under the law and freedom through faith.


  1. Adoption as Sons through Christ (Galatians 4:1-7): Paul uses the analogy of a child under guardianship until the appointed time to illustrate the transition from the law to faith. Through Christ, believers receive adoption as sons and heirs, moving from bondage to freedom.

  2. Former Slavery to Elemental Spirits (Galatians 4:8-11): Paul expresses concern about the Galatians returning to a form of bondage by observing days, months, seasons, and years. He urges them to remember their past slavery to elemental spirits and warns against reverting to legalistic practices.

  3. Paul's Personal Appeal (Galatians 4:12-20): Paul expresses his concern for the Galatians, recalling their initial reception of him with great favor. He questions the reason for their change in attitude and emphasizes the sincerity of his message.

  4. Allegory of Hagar and Sarah (Galatians 4:21-31): Paul employs an allegory involving Hagar and Sarah to illustrate the contrast between slavery under the law and freedom through faith. Believers are compared to children of promise, born through the Spirit, and not to those born according to the flesh and the law.