God has given me a lot of time to marinate over Galatians recently. I read both Augustine’s and Victorinus’ commentaries, and in my personal reading I have gone through the Epistle multiple times in quick succession. However, the following jumped out at me a little while ago:
“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
Upon first glance we read past it and say, ‘Yeah, Jesus died for me.”
Let’s dig a little deeper. He came “under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law.” Clearly, when taken literally, this would mean that Christ came only for the Jews (“those who were under the Law.”) However, we know this is definitely not the case contextually in the Epistle and just by common sense.
So, this unlocks an entirely different meaning of the Pauline use of the word “Law.” Clearly, in Gal 4:5, those born under the Law means everyone. The Jews have the Mosaic Law, while the Gentiles have what Augustine called “the Law of Nature” which we read about in Rom 1-2.
Now, when we see the preceding from Paul, we can realize that Paul categorically denies all works righteousness, whether Mosaic or Natural. Faith in Christ and faith alone is the only way to salvation:
“For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law” (Rom 3:28).
“[A] man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified” (Gal 2:16).
These verses are not written just to Jews, denouncing the Jewish approach to the Mosaic Covenant. They apply to all works righteousness, and especially the Mosaic Law as it is the epitome of works righteousness, as it covers the very specific works that God demands…even this does not make man righteousness.
Therefore, when we read Galatians we can see Paul’s point. The idea that a Christian is saved by faith + any sort of work is anathema. In Galatians, they tried adding circumcision to the list. Paul would not have it. Nothing can be added to faith, as Gal 2:16 states.
There are “Christians,” such as the Church of Christ, that write that no one is saved without water baptism. Such a view is anathema. There is nothing on top of faith that is needed for salvation, and in fact, Paul considers such an approach to the Gospel to be “another Gospel.”
So, whether you are a New Perspective type, a Catholic, or whatever else, you can no longer hide behind the claim that Paul is speaking only against the works of the Jewish Law, and not any sort of other works. Gal 4:4-5 mitigates against such a claim conclusively.
I’d be curious to see how you account for these other scriptures, below, which clearly contradict what you say about “works.” Some are also from St. Paul. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. The Sermon on the Mount and the many parables of Christ teach that we must do many things, such as “watch and pray that you enter not into temptation”. This counsel of Jesus is a ‘work’, as it takes effort and energy, time and sacrifice. And we need to make a choice to follow his advice, or not to. The quotes that contradict what you write are very numerous, these are just a small sample:
“For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” Romans 2:13.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” John 12:24, 25.
• “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7.
• “If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.” 1 John 2:24.
• “If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:38.
• “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch.” John 15:6.
• “If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” John 8:51.
• “If thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” Romans 11:22.
• “If ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” 2 Peter 1:10.
• “For we are made partakers of Christ, If we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” Hebrews 3:14.
• “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: If we deny him, he also will deny us.” 2 Timothy 2:12.
• “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15.
• “Ye are my friends, If ye do whatsoever I command you.” John 15:14.
“If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die.” Romans 8:13.
Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.
 The light of thy body is thy eye. If thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome.  But if thy eye be evil thy whole body shall be darksome. If then the light that is in thee, be darkness: the darkness itself how great shall it be!
 The light of thy body is thy eye. If thy eye be single, thy whole body will be lightsome: but if it be evil, thy body also will be darksome.  Take heed therefore, that the light which is in thee, be not darkness.
•1 Timothy 4:1.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” •1 Timothy 4:1.
You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.  But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.  If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath any thing against thee;  Leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother: and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift.  Be at agreement with thy adversary betimes, whilst thou art in the way with him: lest perhaps the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
I replied as an article.