Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.Galatians 3:21(NASB)
The Law set out the perfect standard by which man could attain righteousness in the eyes of God. But because God's ideal standard was unreachable, it exposed man's sinfulness and showed that man could never be righteous in the eyes of God. The Law was simply a temporary measure until the coming of Christ. The eternal God and perfect Man did not come to abolish or abrogate the Law but to fulfil it - which He did on behalf of all who believe on Him, by faith. Indeed, Paul wrote extensively about our fallen state, but also established, in minute detail, our freedom in Christ which delivered us from our slavery to sin.
The specific promises God gave to Adam, Abel, Enoch, and Noah before the flood, depended of faith - and by faith these men found grace in the eyes of the Lord and were reckoned as righteous. God's promises to these men still stand and we read about them in the Word of God. The promises that God gave to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and so many of the heroes of faith in Old Testament Scriptures still stand, and they believed God and their faith was reckoned to them as righteousness. God's promises to these heroes of the faith still stand - and find their fulfilment in Christ.
And the promises that God has given to the Church, which is the Body of Christ following His death, burial, and Resurrection, similarly rest on faith - faith in the only begotten Son of God. And like the heroes of old, our faith is also reckoned to us as righteousness. We too are liberated sinners who are declared righteous by God through FAITH. And the specific promises that God has given to the Church through New Testament apostles and prophets, apply to all who believe on the sacrificial death and glorious Resurrection of the only begotten Son of God.
The Law set out the perfect standard by which man could attain righteousness in the eyes of God... and the Law continues to be the standard by which men are convicted of their sin. The Law is not contrary to God's Word, nor did it set aside His promises to Adam, Abraham, Israel, or the Church. But the purpose of the Law was to give man time to realise that perfection is unattainable by fallen man. The Law condemns sinners but can never ever save them. No one from Adam onward could attain to the righteousness of God, as was exposed through the letter of the Law which was on tablets of stone. And because God's ideal standard was unreachable, it exposed man's gross sinfulness and showed that man could never be righteous in the eyes of God.
The sin of Adam was passed to all his physical descendants. Similarly, the righteousness of Christ is passed on to all His spiritual children. Because we were born into the first creation through the first Adam, we inherited a fallen nature for we were born in sin. But when we were born again into the new creation in Christ, we received a new nature and were clothed in Christ's righteousness. The old identity we had with the first Adam rendered us slaves to sin but the new identity we have in Christ, the last Adam, renders us servants of righteousness.
The Law was simply a temporary measure until the coming of Christ, the eternal God and perfect Man. Christ did not come to abolish or abrogate the Law. He came to fulfil it and did so on behalf of all His spiritual seed - men and women of faith who believe God's Word.
The Law is not contrary to the promises of God but demonstrates man's need of a Saviour. The Law could expose sin but could never forgive sin - for if the Law could have been fulfilled by man's righteousness, there would have been no need for a Saviour to pay the price for man's sin through His sacrificial death and glorious Resurrection.
The perfect Law of God stands fast forever, but it was not given to impart life and it was not to be a method by which men could achieve perfection. Salvation and the forgiveness of sin could never be attained by keeping the unattainable Law - indeed the perfect Law of God declared the death sentence on all men. Salvation and the forgiveness of sin is simply by faith: "Believe in God and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent," for Christ is the end of the Law to all who believe.
Heavenly Father, thank You that Your perfect plan of redemption does not contain any contradictions, but works together for the good of mankind. Thank You that my sin was exposed through the Law, and though the Law couldn’t save me in and of itself, it pointed me to my need for a Saviour. You then provided a perfect Saviour in the Lord Jesus Christ Who paid the penalty for my sin through His death, burial, and Resurrection. Thank You that my salvation is by grace through faith in Him. AMEN.