Let’s pick up our study in Galatians 2:3 where it says, “But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.” This verse speaks to the fact that circumcision was deemed not necessary in order for the Gentiles (anyone that is not a Jew) to obtain for salvation. That was decided at the council that took place in Jerusalem in Acts 15. It essentially established that salvation was not by keeping the works of the law, but by grace alone.
Notice vv.4-5, “And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.” The false brethren spoken of here are those who had questioned the new found “liberty” from the law that was now theirs in Christ.
Obviously, in Paul’s ministry, he had met a lot of these guys. He spoke of them in 2 Corinthians 11:26 when he said that he had suffered at the hands of “false brethren.” Make no mistake about it. They are still around today. Peter spoke of them in 2 Peter 2:1-3 when he said, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you.”
With that in mind, what is our liberty? No more bondage to the Law (3:25, 5:1, 4:9)! In contrast to the two commands of Christ, (love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and mind and your neighbor as yourself), the Pharisees had developed a system of 613 laws, 365 negative commands and 248 positive laws. Unfortunately, by the time the Lord Jesus came it had produced a heartless, cold, and arrogant brand of righteousness. As such, it contained at least ten tragic flaws. (1) New laws continually need to be invented for new situations. (2) Accountability to God is replaced by accountability to men. (3) It reduces a person's ability to personally discern. (4) It creates a judgmental spirit. (5) The Pharisees confused personal preferences with divine law. (6) It produces inconsistencies. (7) It created a false standard of righteousness. (8) It became a burden to the Jews. (9) It was strictly external. (10) It was rejected by Christ.