Nov. 8, 2017

Sin And The Two Trees

The Hidden Christian Sin

by The Dragon Slayer

 

“The serpent was more subtle all creatures of the field” (Gn 3:1).

Jesus asked, why do you reason among yourselves (Mt 16)? The tree of knowledge of good and evil looked good to their eyes (Gn 3:6). Because they say that they can see, they are yet blind (Mt 13:13). Because they say that they see they are still in their sin (Jn 9:41).

When the Creator planted the garden of Eden, He put two trees in the center of it. Today, these same trees stand at the center of our life. Understanding the spiritual principles that happened at the fall can give us discernment on how to not be deceived by Satan and how to live a true Christian life for and by God unto salvation. 

The meaning of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil can be understood by the serpent’s promise: “By eating from this tree, you will be making your own decision. You will be like God, determining for yourself to see what is right and what is wrong.” 

The fall of humanity was all about women and men assuming the posture that they don’t need anyone to tell them what to do. They would decide for themselves what’s good and what’s bad. They would be self-sufficient and self-determining. 

Of course, what was ignored in that whole discussion is the tree of life.

God wanted humans to eat from the tree of life. Eating from the tree of life meant receiving the uncreated life of God into oneself. The tree of life was God’s own life made accessible to human beings by obeying his precepts and commandments (Ps 119) etc.

Today, the tree of life is the Lord Jesus Christ as we live the righteousness of God through His life in us as the result of taking up our cross and following Him (Mt 16:24-26) whereby He becomes our new life (Ga 2:20).

I am the true vine. . . . As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 

As we have already seen, when we receive Christ, we receive the life of God. Divine life becomes ours. Receiving Christ is simply taking the first bite from the right tree righteousness through the life of Christ in us, our hope of glory (Col 1:27).

Living by God’s life is very different from living by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A person who is living by the tree of life doesn’t sit back and say, “Let me try to do good and avoid evil.” Instead, he allows the life of God to flow within and through him. He yields to the instincts, promptings, and energy of that God-life (grace).

You see, “good” is a form of life. And only God is good. Here are the two choices before you today:

 1. The choice to intellectually know good from evil and to try to do good = the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

 2. Living by the life of God, which is goodness itself = the tree of life. 

Mark it down: the knowledge of good is the accepted counterfeit to living by life. Jesus said that he was the way, the truth, and the life (Jn 14:6).

The Christian religion is built on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Christian religion can be studied using the same categories of thought used to study any other world religion. It can be analyzed just as Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism are analyzed. The difficulty with the Christian religion (like all religions) is that it makes its adherents think that they have now found the real knowledge of good and evil, which in reality is death.

Religion gives people the notion that they have God under control. Religion says that we can understand God absolutely and completely. Yet we are warned not to lean on our own understanding (Pr 3:5). We think we can predict what the Almighty will do tomorrow. The popular Christian religion teaches that the Bible answers virtually every question that’s brought to the sacred text. 

The problem with this line of thought is that the true God cannot fit into anyone’s box. God will always end up breaking out of our human expectations and understanding. Every attempt to capture God and cram and ram Him in a system will ultimately fail. There is a way that seems right to man but the end there is destruction (Pr 14:12). The way is hard and narrow that leads to life and there are few that find it (Mt 7:13-14).

The true God is an untamed lion. He cannot be controlled. The true God is the controller and decider.

“Oh that we discerning Its most holy learning, Lord, may love and fear Thee, Evermore be near Thee!” —Henry Baker’s hymn about the Bible

Yet many Christians have turned the Bible into a form of the knowledge of good and evil. They approach the Bible as raw material by which they can gain control over their lives, so life can be more understandable and under control, less unnerving and unpredictable and to heap upon themselves whatever they’re selfish heart desires.

This is a profoundly grievous misuse of the Bible and profoundly grievous to the true God.

Jesus didn’t misuse the Scriptures to gain control and predictability in His own life. To Him, the Scriptures were simply the joystick on the Father’s controller. They were the instrument through which He got to know His Father better and to discover how to live out His mission. We must do the same in order to follow the narrow way that leads to life.

May God have mercy.