True, we do not have a problem with the kind of legalism with which Paul and the early N.T. believers had to deal – that is, going back to the Mosaic law after being saved.
These believers were faced with such things as:
Now that I am a Christian should I practice circumcision as a Jewish rite?
Should I keep the Jewish Sabbaths – 7th day plus other Jewish feasts?
These observances were deeply cultural – things that every Jew did because he was a Jew. To give them up was to give up his family, in effect – to repudiate his culture, his heritage in the eyes of his unsaved Jewish relatives and friends (cross and sword - Matt.10:34 -40).
Yet, Paul clearly and, offering no alternative, said absolutely NO to both questions – NO (Gal. 5), NO (Col.2). These represent the Mosaic law! Sabbath keeping circumcision
And the Christian is dead to the law – by the body of Christ (Rom. 7:4) – because we are in Christ what His body experienced we, theoretically also experienced. ( Positional)
Sure we as Christian today are not troubled by these particular legalistic problems – yet God has seen fit to include these issues in the Word – it is inconceivable that there would be no application to us.
There is! It has to do with a works orientation. A way to live the Christian life that avoids the Cross – a popular approach – a system of do’s and don’ts – by which the Christian may supposedly gain victory in his Christian life, or failing in the attempt will fall under the accusation of the Devil and be defeated, discouraged, either giving up, or even becoming suicidal. (Remember Ironsides).
This fits the term Galatianism "Having begun in the Spirit are ye now made perfect in the flesh?" (Gal.3:3)
"The first phase of our spiritual experience may be a great and overflowing joy, with a marvelous sense of emancipation. In this phase extravagant things are often said as to total deliverance and final victory. Then there may, and often does, come a phase of which inward conflict is the chief feature. It may be very much of a Romans 7 experience. This will lead, under the Lord’s hand, to the fuller knowledge of the meaning of identification with Christ, as in Romans 6. Happy is the man who has been instructed in this from the beginning."
– What is Man? P. 6l by T. Austin Sparks