Paul and the Law
Paul warned about legalism and false teachings in most of his epistles. Paul was concerned for his flock. He knew that they had heard the Gospel, sometimes even from his own mouth. Christianity or being a follower of Jesus Christ was a new concept. While the Good News of the Gospel about Jesus Christ was strong and alive, still there were many who were resistant and confused. The common Hebrew religion, known as Judaism, was also still a very strong movement. Christianity builds on Judaism, because Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Jesus Christ completes Judaism.
Not everyone accepted Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Not everyone was on board to embrace the Gospel of grace through Jesus Christ’s blood. And even those who understood, accepted, and believed in Jesus Christ as their Savior sometimes misunderstood the full Gospel message. It was a new, complex concept. The long standing traditions and Laws of Judaism were still fresh and well understood. But the full Gospel that Paul preached included “Christ is the end of the Law.”2
Commonly, converts to “Jesus” in the First Century were confused. They wanted to obey the Laws and still have Jesus. Paul constantly had to clarify exactly where the Laws fit into this movement. If Jesus Christ died for man’s sin and offers “saving faith,” what then should man do? What Laws must men obey? Where do the Laws fit into the Paul’s Gospel?