When foes bent on slavery and control through tyranny attempt to bring you under subjection they must be withstood at any cost. The Apostles stood before the ruling council in Jerusalem and told them, “We must obey God rather than man!” Did I mention they had been arrested, beaten, threatened and warned not to “preach Jesus” among the Jewish people? Peter and the others had counted themselves worthy to suffer for the sake of Jesus and were unbending in their passion to share the gospel.
Democratic societies are built upon the foundation of freedom for all the people (Freedom of thought and speech. Freedom of faith and conscience.) These freedoms are always under attack from those who would want to limit your personal expression. The gospel of Jesus brought these Galatians into freedom like they had never known, and after Paul went other places to spread the message of freedom, some came from Jerusalem to limit or even steal the freedom of these new believers.
Paul’s advice was, “Plant your feet firmly therefore within the freedom that Christ has won for us, and do not let yourselves be caught again in the shackles of slavery.” Some people were teaching you had to also obey all the law to be fully saved. For instance, they taught the men needed to be circumcised to be fully saved – believing in Jesus was not enough. Paul tells them to “stand their ground” and keep their liberty in Christ.