The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them."a113
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law2 by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."b314
He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus,4 so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.5
Brothers,6 let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case.
The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed.7 The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed,"c8 meaning one person, who is Christ.
What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years9 later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise.
For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise;10 but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions11 until the Seed12 to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels13 by a mediator.1420
A mediator,15 however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.
Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not!16 For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.1722
But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin,18 so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.