We left Paul dealing with the question, "What, then, is the purpose of the law?" What we found in the last post was what the law was not given for, for the appropriation, production, or imputation of righteousness.
Gal 3:21 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. 22 But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
Why has righteousness never come by law? Because "the whole world is a prisoner of sin." A prisoner of sin. EVERYONE. Please note the absoluteness of Paul's claim. We do not merely have sinful tendencies, we do not merely "fall short" from time to time. We are prisoners of sin. Or as Paul puts it in Romans 7, we are "sold as a slave to sin." The law was given to open our eyes to this fact.[/B]

Not only that, it was God's intention that this be so, not merely an accident of human "choice." Why on earth would God want us to be "imprisoned" to sin? Paul answers:
...so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
If righteousness (life) came by the law then we would have bragging rights.
Romans 4:4 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.
But that is not how God planned it. He wants us to realize our impotence and to trust in His promises to save to the uttermost all those who believe Him.

Rom 4:5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.