When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they became separated from God. The very fruit that they thought would make them like God separated from them the righteousness and life that they derived from God. They already knew what God had said about the tree. He said, “do not eat of it or you will surely die.” Now the serpent comes along and says.. “you will not surely die; you will be like divine beings.” (Gen 3)
I don’t know how long they had lived in the garden of Eden, and walked with God in fellowship. Though I assume that they had gotten to know the Lord somewhat. I’m sure they must have known His goodness by now. I’m sure they began to understand something about his righteousness and character by now. Surely they must have known that He cannot lie! Why? Because everyone in the bible who was given a vision of the Lord in heaven, or found themselves in the presence of one of His angels, or in the presence of the Angel of the Lord, seemed to know instantly of His holiness and righteousness. Here is an example…
In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the sovereign master seated on a high, elevated throne. The hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs stood over him; each one had six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and they used the remaining two to fly. They called out to one another, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord who commands armies! His majestic splendor fills the entire earth!” The sound of their voices shook the door frames, and the temple was filled with smoke.
I said, “Too bad for me! I am destroyed, for my lips are contaminated by sin, and I live among people whose lips are contaminated by sin. My eyes have seen the king, the LORD who commands armies.” But then one of the seraphs flew toward me. In his hand was a hot coal he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Look, this coal has touched your lips. Your evil is removed; your sin is forgiven.”(Isaiah 6:1-6)
I am assuming that Adam and Eve were in God’s presence on a regular basis, maybe not in heaven, but at least in the garden. They had to know Him on some level. And I believe they knew Him well enough to know Him to be truthful, righteous and loving. Then the serpent comes along and speaks the opposite of what God has spoken and they believe Him. In that moment they chose to believe that God was a liar. They somehow believed that God was holding something back from them.
Well, God didn’t lie, they did die. The simplest definition of death is separation. When a person dies the spirit separates from the body. It is the spirit that gives life to the body.
Jesus said this about eternal life: Now this is eternal life – that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. (John 17:3)
Man does not have life in himself. Adam and Eve derived their life from their connection to God. The LORD God formed the man from the soil of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Gen 2:7) Because of this life, Adam and Eve were connected to the Lord. The knew Him. Their life came from Him.
They separated themselves by believing what the serpent said and acting upon it. They are separated, dead. Since they have no life apart from God they received the power of death. They have given up the immortal and their bodies immediately begin to die. In our day we call it aging but, we are dying, nonetheless.
Adam is disconnected from God and his life has now become death. Everyone born from the union of Adam and Eve is born in this condition, death.
God never stopped loving Adam and Eve. This is why he sent His only son, to reverse what has happened to Adam and Eve, and all of mankind. Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth as a man, but not from the seed of Adam. In the gospel of Matthew, you find the story of how Jesus came to be a man…
Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way. While his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph, her husband to be, was a righteous man, and because he did not want to disgrace her, he intended to divorce her privately. When he had contemplated this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” This all happened so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled: “Look! The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they will call him Emmanuel,” which means “God with us.”(Matt 1:18-23)
Because His birth came through the Holy Spirit, He was born “alive.” He was the first man to be born connected to God, without a sin conscience. He was God, and He was a man. He lived his life as a man. The miracles He performed were performed as a man, not as God. He continually said that it was His Father (God) who was doing the miracles through him. Jesus referred to himself as the son of man.
As such Jesus was to represent man as the sacrificial lamb of God. Jesus lived a life without sin as a man. Then He willingly gave His life as a sacrifice in order that man could trade places with Him. The bible says that He became sin for us that we could become righteous. God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us so that in him we would become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:21)
All we have to do is believe. This is the gospel, that God sent His Son into the world to die, in order that those of us who are dead might live. You have been given live but, it is not automatic. You must receive this awesome gift of love by faith. You must believe in the Son of God and what He did, in order to receive this gift.
For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) You can know God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Adam and Eve lost eternal life by believing a lie. All you have to do to get it back is believe the truth, the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He is not still dead. On the third day, after we were justified, Jesus rose from the dead. He appeared to His disciples on multiple occasions. His resurrection is as important as His death. He is the object of our faith. Our faith is only as strong as the thing we are trusting. If Jesus did not rise from the dead then, we have just another religion. There would be no difference between what we believe and other religions of the world. But we do not put our faith a dead god. Our faith is in the living Christ.
We live in His life…
I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside God’s grace, because if righteousness could come through the law, then Christ died for nothing!(Gal 2:20-21)
He now lives His life through us, in us. We are in Christ and He is in us. We have become one with God through Jesus.
But what IS the tree of knowledge of good and evil? Do a search: The First Scandal.
I saw your blog. You take liberties with the interpretation of scripture. I think you are way off base. One point in particular – you print
Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Then you try make the argument that Adam is only a living spirit at this point, without a body. But the verse clearly states that “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground..” What is it you think the Lord formed if it wasn’t a body?
Man has always been in a body, and has a soul, and a spirit, the life of God.
For the purposes of my article, it doesn’t matter what the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is, as much as knowing that God had told them not to eat from it.
But look at God’s thoughts after the event..
Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever; Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
As you can see Adam and Eve did gain the knowledge of good and evil. However, by choosing to act independently of God, as their tempter himself had done, they lost the righteous nature they had been given because they were now disconnected, if you will, from the source of life, God. Now they know good and they know evil, but, without being connect to the only one who is good, they cannot “do” anything good.
They were kicked out of the garden, not as a punishment, but to keep them from eating from the tree of life. Why is this important? Because had they eaten of the tree of the life they would have lived forever. They would have become immortals in their separation from God. It is through death on the cross that Jesus is able to save us. Had Adam and Eve eaten from the tree of life, Jesus dying on the cross would not have been possible and we would all be lost.