I think that often, we may have a a problem distinguishing between Law and Grace. I hope this helps!
But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly (worthless, inadequate) elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Note: Paul is referring to the Law.
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Note: The Law of sin and death was the Mosaic system!
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. Note: Scripture tells us that when it came to the Law from man's dire need and point of view, it was weak (lacking in force or effectiveness) and beggarly (worthless and inadequate).
(Peter) "And certain men (Jewish believers) which came down from Judaea (Jerusalem) taught the brethren (Gentile believers at Antioch) and said, 'Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved." Note: Jewish believers from Jerusalem were trying to convince the Gentile believers at Antioch (Antioch was where Gentile believers were first called "Christians" (Acts 11:26).
"But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharasees which believed, (Pharasees who had come to believe that Jesus was The Christ, but who were still Law-keepers) saying, 'That it was needful to circumcise them (the Antioch Gentile believers) and to command them to keep the law of Moses."
Note: They came up against Paul, trying to convince him that Gentiles should keep the Law. They were most adament about this and instructed Paul to command Gentile believers to keep the Law of Moses (Galatians 2). Paul argues that Gentile believers COULD NOT be forced to stay under the Law because THEY WERE UNDER GRACE.
(Peter enters the controversey now) "And when there had been mcuh disputing (there was a lot of arguing going on) Peter rose up and said unto them, 'Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago (12 years earlier at Cornelius') God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel and believe. e Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel and believe. Note: Peter had been sitting back and taking in the whole scene, but finally spoke out, reminding them that 12 years earlier (Acts 10) he had been sent to the house of Cornelius, providentially. Now God was reminding Peter and the others through him, of those special events when the first Gentiles were saved through Peter's preaching.
(Peter) And put no difference between us (the Jews) and them (the Gentiles).
Note: This was hard for Peter to say as he was not unlike most Jews in that he thought that the Jews were God's own people and Gentiles were just "dogs" who could maybe get the crumbs (as in Matt. 15:22-28, the Caananite woman). But Pter had to admit here that there was no difference between Jew and Gentile (Paul's teaching).
"Now therefore why ye tempt God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers mor we were able to bear?"
Note: Peter calls the Law a "yoke" (the mark or symbol of bondage), and a "burden" (a very heavy load). YOU CANNOT GET TO HEAVEN BY KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS. THE LAW WAS NOT GIVEN FOR SALVATION, NOT EVEN FOR THE JEW!
Definition of Grace: That attribute of God that can take the person who realizes he's nothing more than a fallen creature; he's under sin; he's under condemnation; and there's nothing he can do...THEN the Grace of God REACHES DOWN and SAVES him on the basis of his BELIEVING the Gospel!!!
Stand fast therefore in the liberty (as opposed to the yoke of the bondage of the Law) wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled with the yoke of bondage."
Note: When someone says they are trying to keep the commandments, they are placing themselves under the "yoke" of bondage.
James 2:10 says if you are going to keep all of the Law, then you'd better have a Temple, a priesthood, an altar, and a flock of sheep, because they are all involved in the sacrifices which are necessary by the Law. So, as soon as the Age of Grace came on the scene, God sovereignly, via the Roman army, tore down the Temple in Jersalem, stone by stone. It was totally destroyed because the Age of Grace had started now. People still continue to try to go back to temple worship, trying to resurrect that legal system. But it's gone--the Temple is destroyed. It will come back again someday soon, but not until the Age of Grace has ended (the Rapture).
"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." The ONLY purpose of The Law was to condemn mankind--to show him that he is a sinner and not fit for God's Heaven; that he is a Law-breaker!
"Therefore by the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the Law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the prophets;..." Paul says, every person is going to be judged "...according to my Gospel." (Romans 2:16)
Note: We won't be judged by "what I've been taught" or "I did the best I could"--we are going to be judged on the basis of WHAT WE DID WITH THE GOSPEL.
Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?
Do you believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins?
Do you believe He arose again on the third day, ALIVE, to sit at the right hand of the Father?
Do you want Him to be your Savior and Redeemer?
Then make this commitment, today:
I know you died for my sins, and that you arose on the third day, having fought, won and taking the keys of hell, to arise on the third day, ALIVE, to sit at the right hand of the Father. Please forgive me for my sins, Lord, and be my Savior.
Thank you for saving me, Jesus.