The short answer is no.
I personally struggled with this question for years without rest. What changed it? I don’t remember how many people have advised me to ask God to teach the truth to me as I read the Word (though I never did; I thought I was smart enough to figure it out on my own, or that asking God was just an excuse they made to not accept the real harsh truth of God, raw; “as is”), but sooner or later, I decided to do so.
I specifically asked God, “God, help me out – just show me SOMETHING that is going to do SOMETHING to give me some freedom…” I was sitting outside of a Catholic church in my neighborhood as I read.
To my surprise, as I read, the ideas became crystal clear !!! I had just randomly chosen one of Paul’s letters (since he had been sent to the Gentiles, and I, being a Gentile, ought to hear what he has to say about my faith) to learn about the nature of my salvation, and the (confusing) subtleties of it. I would advise anyone reading this who has questions about whether you as a “christian” must keep the law to read Galatians for yourself, asking God with a simple spoken request, to reveal the truth to you. However, I will also share what God has given me.
The Root of Our Salvation: A Tale of Two Covenants
God has let us know that the salvation that we enjoy is actually the fulfillment of the promise which God made to Abraham: “In your seed (Jesus Christ), I will bless all the nations” Gal 3:16.
The nature of the Promise is that it is to “bless” all (of us) who are accounted as part of or born out of the nations of the world. Does that leave anyone out? No. What is the blessing? Remission of sins and the receiving of the Kingdom of God and immortality – through Jesus Christ 2 Tim 1:10
There came a SECOND covenant, made between God and the nation of Israel, 430 years after He made the said Promise to Abraham. This covenant is likened to Ishmael, the son of the slave, Hagar. We are NOT under the second covenant (the Law), but part in the FIRST covenant (the Promise). The second covenant was only “added” because of transgressions. Gal 3:19 The law could not make anyone righteous (nor was it intended to); it could only condemn. This is why Jesus said that the tax-collector who felt humbled and condemned and couldn’t so much as lift his eyes to heaven but only beat his chest in shame went home justified rather than the self-righteous, religious zealot who stood nearby calling himself God and condemning everybody. The law was sent as a “school-master” Gal 3:24 to keep people condemned and humbled until the time Messiah would be revealed, who would take away sins through faith in Him.
If the Law brings condemnation, how can it bring me righteousness TODAY, when I’m under an entirely different covenant??? “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Gal 3:3 “If righteousness came through the law, then Christ died in vain.” Gal 2:21 Rather, “… I through the law (as a result of the demands of and implications of the law) am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.” Gal 2:19 (because the law spoke of Christ John 5:46+ Luke 24:46) “… Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Rom 10:4
Two Sons: Two Covenants
“Nevertheless what saith the scripture? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” Gal 4:30 The Law of Moses is comparable to Ishmael who WILL NOT INHERIT WITH ISAAC”. We are Isaac, sons of the Promise Gal 4:28, being children of the Promise. The Law does not come together with the righteousness of God in Christ; those who are “Isaac” (believe in Jesus) Gal 4:28 cannot also be “Ishmael”, (under the Law) simultaneously: you are either one or the other – dead or alive. In short, we have NOTHING to do with the Law; the Law has no authority over us WHATSOEVER. Actually, the law is the POWER of sin; it doesn’t work righteousness. 1 Cor 15:56
Finally, Gal 5:1 says we are not to come back under the “yoke of bondage (the law of moses),” but that even today, just as it was with Isaac and Ishmael, those who are according to the flesh (Ishmael/the Law) persecute those who are according to the spirit (Isaac/the Promise/the Spirit) Gal 4:29.
Playing Devil’s Advocate
There is this subtle, Judaizing spirit going around, trying to solicit God’s glory by bringing people into the bondage of their misinterpretation of Scripture: trying to police everybody, and trying to make everyone bow down before them for their “special knowledge” Gal 6:13. Carnal reasoning, not according to the Spirit of Truth, is more like it.
Is There Proof That I Am Not Under The Law?
Well, is there any historical proof that this doctrine was followed; any examples of faith we can follow? Look to none other than Paul and Peter or any of the Apostles – none of them lived by the Law of Moses Gal 2:14. This was the very thing Paul had to confront Peter over in Gal 2:11. Peter had been been afraid of some christians who were Jewish converts, and in his fearing them, began acting as a Jew around the Jewish crowd, but like a Gentile when they were not around – it turned him into a hypocrite – and in doing so, he misled many people.
We must understand once and for all that the Law is an entirely separate covenant – and that those who are under it will not inherit God with those who inherit Him through the Abrahamic Promise Gal 4:29-31 + Gal 5:4. Moreover, Judaizers were never welcomed nor blessed in the Body of Christ: “I would they were even cut off which trouble you.” Gal 5:12 They are “wolves in sheeps’ clothing”; they even try to deny that Jesus is God, saying lofty things, such as “Oh, I only worship the Father!” as proof of their high level of knowledge. God will put them down into the dust low for their loftiness.
As for whether Jesus is God and receives worship: Jesus is the Word made flesh John 1:14. The Word of God is God John 1:1, and He receives worship as such: Rev. 5:13
Satan has captured and led these people astray, blinding them to the simplicity that is in Christ 1 Cor 11:3. It is the same demonic, hypocritical force that attacked the church from the very beginning Gal 2:11 and seeks to steal or deny the glory due to Jesus, who is God. John 1:1; 1:14 And what is the hypocrisy? They pretend to speak for God, but are really seeking their own glory.
Jesus, the “Englightened” Instructor – LOL
If the Law of Moses truly ought to have been followed under Jesus’ administration, wouldn’t Jesus be implicated as a breaker of the law by not stoning the adulteress in John 8:3? Hmm.. The law was clear: “stone the woman!” However, this Man, sole Teacher, truly understood that what God’s desires expressed in the writings (mercy, justice and humility), and made sure to make His rulings with them. This is why it says that righteousness is not by giving heed to the works of the law, but that you are justified by faith in JESUS CHRIST Gal 2:16 He has been made wisdom to us; He is the only Person who truly understands the Law, and is Himself the substance of the Scriptures; He is the hidden Topic and central focus of every Scripture: Acts 8:35; Luke 24:46; John 5:46.
If anyone is trying to force you or if you feel forced to follow the Law, know that the hidden intent which masquerades itself as righteousness (“an angel of light” 2 Cor 11:14) is revealed in Gal 6:13 – they want to boast! Once you obey them, they have something to boast about: “oh, you see how I made her do that? She submitted to me! I am god!” The Scripture speaks as well in James 3:14:
“But if you have bitter jealousy and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth.”
Obviously, if they have the desire to boast, they have selfish ambition, and they lie against the truth by approving of their ways rather then renouncing them.
The law has nothing to do with a believer in Jesus Christ. Then again, you could read it and get glimpses of Jesus Christ, and revelations into Him, but the Scripture says,
“But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?” Gal 4:9
Gal 5:1 says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” What yoke of bondage? The Law! The Law is a yoke of bondage Gal 4:21-29
The believer is free from the Law of Moses and freed to live as unto God by faith in the words of Jesus John 15:7; 15:10