Paul’s discussion of the Law and Christ in Galatians is framed in spherical language. This is seen in his use of three key prepositions (ἐν, ἐκ, and ὑπο). Paul’s chief contrast is between one operating within the Law or within Christ as their basic realm of belonging. Those who are tempted to return to the sphere of the Law as their fundamental relation to God are at risk of transferring out of the realm of Christ, which for Paul is the only place in which favor with God is found.
Gerd Lüdemann“ἐκ,” in Exegetical Workbook of the New TestamentVol. 1 ed. Horst Robert Balz and Gerhard Schneider (Grand Rapids William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1990) 403. See also Murray J. Harris Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament(Grand Rapids: Zondervan2012) 103.
Thus Kittel can state“NT hearing as reception of the declared will of God always implies affirmation of this will as the willing of salvation and repentance by the man who believes and acts. There thus arises, as the crowning concept of the obedience which consists in faith and the faith which consists in obedience” (Gerhard Kittel, “ἀκούω, ἀκοή, εἰσ-, ἐπ-, παρακούω, παρακοή, ὑπακούω, ὑπακοή, ὑπήκοος,”Theological Dictionary of the New TestamentVol. 1 ed. Gerhard Kittel Geoffrey W. Bromiley and Gerhard Friedrich (Grand Rapids mi: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1964) 220). Garlington here suggests a possible connection with Paul’s “obedience of faith” in Rom. 2.16 (Garlington “Paul’s “Partisan ἐκ”” 580).
A. J. M. Wedderburn“Some Observations on Paul’s Use of the Phrases ‘In Christ’ and ‘With Christ’,”Journal for the Study of the New Testament25 (1985): 90. Weddernburn argues that the phrase should frequently be seen in an instrumental sense but does not adequately consider the importance of Paul’s spherical speech patterns and his emphasis on transfer terminology.