Paul continues his polemic against works righteousness and in support of salvation by free Grace. He starts in this passage upon the most personal appeal of the entire epistle.
Paul reminds them that when he first preached the Gospel to them, the Galatians were bound in the darkness of a pagan, false religion that relied upon rituals and feasts and religious works to please their false gods. He chides them for going back to works righteousness in following along with the Judaizers, the legalists who would destroy the pure Gospel of salvation by faith and not by works.
If you are going to add works to what I preached, Paul laments, I might as well have never come to you.
Paul then urges the Galatians to follow his example of Christian doctrine and living without lawkeeping for righteousness. Paul reminds them that he did not observe days and rituals. He abandoned his Jewish culture and rituals, which no longer had any place in salvation or true worship of God, and became just like the Gentiles he sought to reach for Christ. He did not come bringing the law of Moses to impose upon them, like the legalists were doing.
Paul had fully "bought in" to salvation by grace through faith in Christ's sacrifice for himself personally - the same as he taught the Galatians. So he urges them, be like me, trusting only in Christ's redemption, and not in any works of the law.
Paul never considered that he had been polluted or harmed by becoming as a Gentile and laying aside the Mosaic requirements.
Unlike the Judaizers, Paul never looked down on poor Gentiles as beneath his Jewish holiness and practice. He rejoiced to preach Grace to lost sinners, just like Jesus did!
John Pittman Hey was born in 1961 in Jackson, Mississippi, to Godly parents who from the beginning raised him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. With child-like faith he came to Christ on his fourth birthday at his mother's knee. He received his education at church...