Thoughts on Kingdom, Church, and Grace from an American living in Hong Kong

Sunday, November 28, 2010

There are still Two Trees to choose from

Genesis 2 tells us that after God had finished the creation he placed Man & Woman in a garden he had prepared for them.  In the center of that garden were two trees; The Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil & The Tree of Life.  The only command the first couple were given was NOT to eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil.

Most of you, if you had any Sunday School whatsoever, know how the story turned out.  The Devil came and tempted them, not with an outright lie, but with a twist on the truth, "For God knows that when you eat of it," he said, "your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing Good and Evil."

And you know what, they're eyes were opened, and they did become like God in that they developed their own will outside of God's will.  Now they too had the capacity to determine what was Right and Wrong apart from God...

...and we've been paying a huge price for it ever since.

Mankind was banished from the garden and hence the access to the Tree of Life... the tree we really needed to be eating from.

The Bible goes on to chronicle the misery making of the human race once we begin to decide what is right & wrong on our own.  Often there will be a passage that goes something like, "And again Israel did evil in God's sight, each man doing what he thought was right in his own eyes."  I'm sure if I asked 100 people what evil is, I would get 100 different answers but no one saying "evil is people doing what they thought was right."

And here's the crux...those two trees are still with the center of our lives. Just like Adam so many thousands of years ago,  we have the opportunity today to choose what tree we will pick from.  Although the physical manifestation of the Tree of Life only reappears at the end of scripture in Revelation 22 when describing our eternal residence, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we have access to that fruit, His Life, today.

Christ was given the same test as Adam (hence why the Bible sometimes refers to him as the Second Adam). His whole life was a submission of his will to his Father's culminating in the moment of prayer he has just before the process of his redemptive sacrifice is to take place.  The fruit of the two trees is placed before him, "Father if possible, let this cup pass from me" (What I think is Right i.e. Tree of Good & Evil) "nevertheless, not my will but Your's be done." (What God says is Right i.e The Tree of Life)

Unlike Adam, Jesus chooses NOT to eat from the forbidden fruit instead choosing a faith and submission to his Father's will.

Bingo, by choosing God's will over his own he reopens our access to the Tree of Life (The Life of Christ).
Now, we no longer have to live under the curse, we can choose life once again

So OK, those trees are still with us.  His way or yours?  Which fruit will you eat today?


Bob said...

It's a constant struggle and always will be this side of Heaven, don't you think? Paul said he would inevitably do the very thing he didn't want to do/knew he shouldn't do!

Paul Ellis said...

Paul said the answer to his struggle was a Who. I think the struggle diminishes as we grow in our knowledge of Him. We are all born knowing the law of sin and death, but there is another law (the Spirit of life!) that's pretty potent too!

Don't you ever wonder why Adam, with that brilliant and uncorrupted mind of his, didn't just invent a chainsaw?

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