In this passage Paul reminds the troublesome Galatians (and us) that we are heirs to a spiritual parent. Unmindful of God, he seems to be saying, we are slaves to the things of this world and to our own misunderstandings of its nature. We are slaves to the powers that be in the world. But the Holy Spirit, he says, has put a cry of Abba (Father) into our hearts to move us toward embracing our proper heritage. Having really heard this cry, why would we turn back to what we were before? Clearly, Paul seems to want us to move beyond externals (and our past selves) to become the people we are truly meant to be.