It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.-Galatians 5:1-6
What exactly is Paul talking about here in this passage? Why does he talk about Christ having set us free and obeying the law all in the same passage? The point Paul was trying make both to the Galatian church and to us is that Christ has set us free, but he does not set us free through our works. Paul was dealing with, at the time of his writing this letter to Galatian church, a group of people who were teaching that in order for a person to be saved they had to have faith in Jesus and follow the entire Old Testament law. In essence what this group of people were saying is that salvation is only for those who were practicing Jews and in order for those who were non-Jewish to be saved they had to become Jews. In other words they believed that it was faith plus works that saved a person and not faith alone.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one boast.-Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV