The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed.1 The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed,"a2 meaning one person, who is Christ.
What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years3 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;4 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 transgressions5 until the Seed6 to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels7 by a mediator.820
A mediator,9 however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.
Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not!10 For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.1122
But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin,12 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 prisoners13 by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.1424
So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christb15 that we might be justified by faith.1625
Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.17