This post is in response to a comment left on the last post from a dear brother of mine in the Lord.
In light of God's love and mercy it seems to me to be absolutely absurd that we would ever disobey God. If God does not change, and I assure you He does not, and God is Love, and I assure you He is, then we must be able to say that God always has been Love. Not only that, God is also all-wise, and all-powerfull. So if God has given a command it certainly must be a command of Love, regardless of the command. This is important to see. The commandments of God are not a burdensome set of rules designed to restrain you from doing all the things you love, the commands come forth from a loving God who is admonishing you not to do the very things that can kill you (physically and eternally). It is love that brings forth the command.
Let's get really practical with this. If God thru Christ has commanded me not to look upon a woman lustfully and I knowing that I am to turn away still determine to take a look, what does that mean? The answer may suprise you, it means not that I have lust in my heart as much as it means I still have unbelief in my heart. My prayer of confession should be 'Lord help me with my unbelief.' Why is it unbelief? Well, if I believe that God is love, and that He is not a liar, and that He works all things to my good, then clearly I would accept obedience to His word as the very best thing I could do. With that lustful look by my action I have either not believed that God was loving in His commandment, or that we was not wise in His institution of that commandment, or He was not powerful enough to work something better in me if I obeyed the commandment. Can you see how the root of all sin is unbelief. When we sin we are always questioning or doubting the character of God. While in our mind we may still ascend to these truths are actions prove to be evidence of unbelief.
It is God's love, and our entire belief in that love that drives us into holiness and righteous living. It is recognition not only with our minds but with our actions that God is love and that His commandments are born out of that love and meant to bring us unto repentance and life. The pharisees missed this important part, they attempted (with a degree of success) to obey the law by being in bondage to it with out ever realizing that they were to be freed to obey it. It is only by the regenerating work of Christ that the law will ever lose it burdensomeness to us, and become to us the life giving commands of God.
Thanks Bruce for the comment, I need to post more on the love of God than I do.