I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!
Jesus was Jewish. All of the apostles were also. In fact, most all of the first students of Jesus were too!
So who can blame some of the early Jewish Christians who wrongly believed that Gentile Christians should keep the traditions and customs of the Law of Moses as they actually continued to do?
Jewish festivals, circumcision and other customs continued to be valued and practiced by Jewish Christians. Becoming a student of Jesus didn’t change their cultural orientation overnight. And it was difficult for some to understand why Gentiles shouldn’t become more Jewish in their behavior.
But God sent Jesus to save everyone, including the majority of people in the world who are not Jewish, rather Gentile. And receiving the Good News of Jesus – becoming a student of Jesus – was never intended to be a conversion to Judaism.
Neither did Jesus intend to destroy the Law of Moses. How could He, when He is the fulfillment of the Law of Moses and all of the prophecies of the Old Testament. Jesus is the embodiment of Judaism’s promise to the world.
A promise given to Abraham years before Moses was even born. That through his descendents One would come who would bless all nations.
What we see in the Book of Galatians is a collision of cultures with a question hanging over it. Just what if any of the customs of Judaism will be required by Gentile when they become students of Jesus?
Paul’s answer is nothing is needed except faith in Jesus and willingness to follow His teaching. This was the truth for Jewish Christians and for Gentiles too. Only Jesus!
So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.