The background information presented in the previous studies links above is essential for understanding Paul’s argument rightly. He is not anti- Law, or even anti- obedience, for he himself was obedient to the Law throughout his life. But he was anti- false gospel, false teacher and false apostle. Each of Paul’s arguments in his case that justification or salvation cannot be obtained by works of the Law, but only by grace through faith, forms its own chiastic structure:
1a) Gal 4:3, When we were children we were in bondage under the elements of the world;
1b) Gal 4:4-5, God sent His Son to redeem us that we might be adopted as sons;
central axis) Gal 4:6, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”;
2b) Gal 4:7, You are no longer a slave but a son and an heir of God through Christ;
2a) Gal 4:8-10, When you did not know God, you served those which are not gods but weak + beggarly elements.
1a) Gal 4:11, I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain;
1b) Gal 4:12-15, Galatians zealous for Paul;
central axis) Gal 4:16, Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?;
2b) Gal 4:1-18, False teachers zealously court you but not for your good;
2a) Gal 4:19-20, My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you/ I have doubts about you.
1a) Gal 4:21-22, Do you not hear the Law? Abraham’s two sons, one of the bondwoman, one of the freewoman;
1b) Gal 4:23 He who was of the bondwoman was born of the flesh, and he of the freewoman of the promise;
central axis) Gal 4:24-27, Two covenants: Mount Sinai/ Hagar/ bondage vs. Jerusalem above/ our mother/ freedom;
2b) Gal 4:28-29, He who was born according to the flesh / he who was born according to the Spirit;
2a) Gal 4:30-31, What does the Scripture say? Bondwoman’s son shall not be the heir with the freewoman’s son.
1a) Gal 4:28, We are children of the promise as Isaac was;
1b) Gal 4:29, He who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit;
central axis) Gal 4:30a, Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son;
2b) Gal 4:30b, The son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman;
2a) Gal 4:31, We are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.