Background: Apostle Peter was living a double life; to the Jews (observing the Jewish law/traditions) and to the Gentiles (not as such).
So, apostle Paul came to “correct” apostle Peter of his “Jew-Law-Keeping” (living in the ‘manner of the Jews’ to ‘please the Jews/men’ but “not” God).
“But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” – apostle Paul (Galatians 2:11)
Peter himself does “not” live like a Jew (because he knows that such traditions are abolished in Christ) but in fear of ‘other Jews’, he compelled the Gentiles to observe “Jewish Laws/Traditions” as this verse explains:
“But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?” – apostle Paul (Galatians 2:14)
Apostle Paul explains that “no” man is ever going to be “justified” by his ‘obedience’ to the “works” (ritualistic/traditions) of the “Law” (of Moses) which includes tithes, Sabbath-rules, observances of feasts such as Passover, wearing specific dresses, performing animal sacrifices for sins, circumcision, not eating pork, etc:
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” – apostle Paul (Galatians 2:16)
Next, apostle Paul explains that by ‘keeping the Law’ like this, one does “not” qualify as being ‘lawful’ (as so erroneously thought) but rather as a “lawless” one (‘sinner’) instead as this verse *hints*:
“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.” – apostle Paul (Galatians 2:17)
Not so clear? The subsequent verse nails the point above “literally” (note that ‘transgressor’ = sinner or a ‘lawless’ one):
“For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.” – apostle Paul (Galatians 2:18)
Read the verse above carefully again: You “cannot” rebuild the *things* (“works” = ritualistic/traditions) of the “Law” (of Moses) “again” (so, by doing so, you become “lawless” instead and insult the Living God who ‘destroyed’ it in the first place; who are the “Jews” to keep doing it & even ‘deceive’ many Christians to continue in their observances?”):
“When He (God) said, “A New Covenant (Testament),” He has made the first (Old Testament) obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.” (Hebrews 8:13)
Then, apostle Paul states that he is “dead to the Law” (so no more keeping its “works” = ritualistic /traditions):
“For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.” – apostle Paul (Galatians 2:19)
Lastly, this ancient conclusion stands:
Stop “frustrating” the Grace of God by continuing in your “works of the Law” since there is “no” righteousness earned (making Christ’s work vain —> you’re insulting it):
“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” – apostle Paul (Galatians 2:21)
This piece of Christian history has certainly repeated itself in that many modern denominations of Christianity have turned “back” into “keeping some parts of the Law.”
Sometimes I really wonder which Bible such Christians are reading?
Beware, by keeping the whole “Law”, you may just find yourself being a “lawless” one (transgressor/sinner) instead if you *break one * of it as this verse explains:
“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” – apostle James (James 2:10)
Also, “sin is lawlessness”:
“Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.” – apostle John (1 John 3:4)
So, the one who ‘sins’ (transgresses/commits lawlessness) is a ‘sinner’ (transgressor/lawless one) right?
Such a ‘sinner/transgressor’ or lawless one ‘also’ “includes” he who keeps the (‘destroyed’) “works” (ritualistic/traditions) of the “Law” (of Moses) under the New Testament as mentioned prior too:
“For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor (sinner/lawless one).” – apostle Paul (Galatians 2:18)
Thus, aren’t such ones as these ‘included’ toward whom the Lord “denies” (the Great Denial) on that Great Day as those who practice “lawlessness”?
“And then I will declare unto them, ‘I never knew you; depart you from Me, those working LAWLESSNESS.’.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:23)