Paul’s preaching of the gospel, with its radically Christ-centered character, went beyond the understanding of other early believers. The importance and place of the Law of Moses for both Jews and Gentiles in the church was a hotly contested issue.
In Galatians, Paul endeavored to prevent the Gentile converts in churches he had founded from embracing a version of the gospel that insisted on their observance of a form of the Mosaic Law. He saw with a degree of clarity not shared by many that such a message reduced the crucified Jesus Christ, who alone was the heart of the gospel, to being a mere agent of the Law. For Paul, the gospel of Jesus Christ alone, and him crucified, had no place in it for the claim that Law-observance was somehow necessary for believers in Christ to experience the power of God’s grace.