Romans 8:7 answers that question for it tells us, “Because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be” (RV). Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, man has been born with a sinful nature that Scriptures calls “the flesh.” David spoke of how he was born in sin in Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” The Lord Jesus stated emphatically in John 3:6 that all children born of two human parents have this sinful nature, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.” How solemn to read in Romans 8:7 that this nature “is enmity against God,” which means that it is in opposition to God. The flesh is so bad that it is “not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be.” This means that every man, woman, boy and girl is born a rebel, with no desire to please God or to obey Him. So, to answer your question more specifically, it is not only “hard for us humans to obey God’s commandments,” it is impossible to obey them perfectly.

Why did God give the Ten Commandments if we can’t obey them? In a word, He gave the Law to prove to the human race that we are sinners incapable of obeying Him, and to show us our need of a Savior. Just before God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, the people of Israel proudly declared in Exodus 19:8, “All that the LORD hath spoken we will do.” I’m sure they truly felt in their hearts that they would obey them, but they were ignorant of “the flesh” dwelling within them. Their rebellious nature was quickly revealed, for in Exodus 32:1-8 we learn that while Moses was up on Mount Sinai receiving the Law, the people were offering sacrifices to a golden calf! From that point on Israel was continually breaking the commandments and thus God proved to them they were sinners in need of a Savior. In Romans 3:19 God issues the “guilty verdict” against Israel and the whole human race, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (NKJV). Israel’s failure to keep the Law proved that all men would fail and so God has pronounced the whole world “guilty!” Verse 20 goes on to say, “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” The Law was never given to make men righteous; it was given to reveal man’s sin!

We must NOT end on that note, for God’s grace has provided a way for man to be justified, as seen in verses 21-22, “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.” The law revealed our sin and condemned us; the gospel reveals God’s grace through the death of His Son and justifies us. The very moment one takes their place before God as a guilty sinner, and believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior, God declares them “righteous,” or “not guilty.” Amazing grace!

In addition to justifying the believer in Christ, the believer is given a new nature and the Holy Spirit. The “new nature,” unlike “the flesh,” loves God and wants to obey Him, and the Holy Spirit gives us the power to obey. I would encourage you to read of this in Romans 8:2-4 and Galatians 5:16-25. (161.9) (DO)