Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
This text, part of Paul’s larger argument for a salvation through faith and not by works, strikes two blows against Calvinism. First it undermines Calvinism’s notion that regeneration precedes faith, as well as Calvinist’s claims that Arminianism teaches a works salvation.
First, note that the text sets in contrast law and faith. Law cannot impart LIFE, but God gives WHAT WAS PROMISED (life) to those who believe, through faith in Jesus Christ. The parallel contrast implies that sharing Christ’s newness of life is through faith.
Secondly, note that the contrast makes clear that faith is not a work. The Calvinist, full of hubris, so frequently claims that Arminianism teaches a works salvation. Nothing could be further from the truth. If what was promised is given by God through faith, then it is not by works. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule.