Brothers,1 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.2 The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed,"a3 meaning one person, who is Christ.
What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years4 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;5 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 transgressions6 until the Seed7 to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels8 by a mediator.920
A mediator,10 however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.
Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not!11 For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.1222
But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin,13 so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
Before this faith came, we were held prisoners14 by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.1524
So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christb16 that we might be justified by faith.1725
Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.18