Why Did God Give Humans Commandments No One Can Follow?

Adobe Stock

The Bible tells us no one is righteous, that all have sinned, so why would God give humans His law and commandments that no one is capable of following? The answer is surprisingly simple and explains evil as well.

Human fallibility and sin

“As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;”

– Romans 3:10

The above verse quotes the Psalmist:

“The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt; their acts are vile. There is no one who does good.”

– Psalm 14:1 (also similar in Psalm 53:1)

From the Garden of Eden to the present day, humans aren’t very good at resisting the temptation to sin. And because of the original sin of Adam and Eve, all of humankind from that point forward were born into sin, that is, born with a sin nature.

The apostle Paul wrote that, because of this tendency, all humankind lacks the righteousness necessary to achieve for future glory to be in the presence of the Lord in heaven.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

–Romans 3:23

This all leads to the obvious question:

Why would God create laws that imperfect creatures could not follow?

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

–Galatians 5:13

When God created humankind, and all of his creatures (angels, animals, etc.), they were given free will. Scott understood that their love and praise for him could not be genuine without them having the right to freely make their own choices. God could not create “robots” that are incapable of sinning. These creatures would have the capacity to do good or evil.

In terms of evil, it is a direct result of the free will of God’s creation. The world was created in perfection, free from sin. Evil only appeared in the world through the free will of God’s creatures.

What God’s laws show us

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

–Galatians 5:22-23

Without the existence of evil, we would have no measure of God’s goodness and perfection.

Likewise, without God’s laws – even though humans are incapable of following them to the letter – there would be no measure of what goodness is.

Not only that, but we understand that the unchanging nature of God shows us that He and the laws of His truth are eternal.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

–James 1:17

The reason for a Savior

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

–Matthew 6:33

Jesus explained that God understands humankind is not capable of complete righteousness. But God provided a remedy – seek him – and righteousness will be added to you.

Because human beings are incapable of not sending and upholding God’s laws, God sent his spirit and his son Jesus Christ, to live a blameless and sinless life, sacrificing his blood to pay the penalty for all mankind to buy them freedom from the law that would otherwise condemn them to eat eternal death.

To receive forgiveness and a pardon of one’s sins apart from the Law, all can receive this gift through faith in Jesus Christ.

“And be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—”

–Philippians 3:9