Many approach commands of God as things God would like us to do, but He understands we can’t actually do it. Thus, we make commands optional.
But when we consider the commands–forgive as Christ has forgiven you, be perfect as your Father is perfect, be holy as God is holy–we run into trouble. If we can’t do these things is God unreasonable or just goofy?
Israel ran into this problem with Pharaoh. As Israelites abounded, Pharaoh tried to keep them down with work–make bricks; make more bricks; gather straw for the bricks and still make the same amount.
It got unreasonable, unbearable. Is this what God is? Is he a maniacal dictator commanding us to do the impossible?
Or, perhaps He is commanding us to do the impossible and yet smiling, letting us know He really doesn’t expect us to do these things. An old grampa telling the grandkids to clean the house for gramma full-well knowing it won’t really be clean but it’s the thought that counts.
Perhaps our real trouble is in not seeing the power of new life in Christ. We’re so inundated with teachings about the weakness of the flesh, we never get to the strength of the Spirit.
We ascribe more power to our first birth than to our re-birth. We see the power of me and doubt the power of Christ. Instead, we see Christ as a great Messiah who saves people from their sin, just not really.
You must be born again. Old things have passed away, behold all things are new. We are new creations in Christ Jesus. We’ve been given not a spirit of fear but of power.
Perhaps these words mean something.