|Vol. 13 No. 12 December 2011||
After God created the world, He planted the Garden of Eden for Adam and Eve. Within this Garden God caused every tree to grow that was pleasant to the eyes and good for food. Also two unique trees – the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – were planted there (Genesis 2:8-9). Then, God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden with the following instructions, “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (Genesis 2:15-17).
God ensured that food was plentiful for His created beings. Every fruit within the Garden was available to Adam and Eve with the exception of the fruit from one tree. It should have been an easy task to avoid the fruit from the forbidden tree, as there was an abundance of fruit throughout the Garden waiting to be plucked and to be eaten.
However, Satan decided to meddle with God’s perfect world and His perfect creation. The Devil encouraged Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, telling her that she would not die as God had instructed them. Unfortunately, Eve chose to listen to Satan rather than to listen to God. She ate the forbidden fruit, and then she gave some to Adam. Adam and Eve ate the wrong fruit, and sin entered the world.
Mankind today is no different from Eve. Instead of listening to God, we follow the example of the first woman, seeing “…that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise” (Genesis 3:6), we partake of the wrong fruit and then give it to our loved ones. Like Adam and Eve, we try to blame our sinful actions on someone else (Genesis 2:8-13).
We partake of the wrong fruit when we:
Because Eve was near the tree of knowledge of good and evil, she saw that the fruit was good for food and pleasant to the eyes. Once her eyes saw the goodness of the fruit, it was easy for Satan to entice her to eat the fruit. Likewise, when we surround ourselves with things that are pleasant to the eyes and ears, we are asking Satan to entice us to eat the wrong fruit and sin. If Eve had stayed away from the tree, she would have been less likely to succumb to the Devil’s temptations and eat the wrong fruit. Christians today must avoid looking upon the wrong fruit and always be aware that “…the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Betty Burton Choate
I think it is an interesting commentary on the religions of the world that all of them are willing to admit that Christ can be followed as a spiritual leader, but at the same time, the broad statement is made that anything, everything in religion is all right as long as it is covered by the canopy of “love” or “sincerity” or “honesty.” So, while other leaders teach their own religious doctrines, they lack the courage to deny completely the right and authority of Christ in the spiritual realm. There has been only One Man who has ever walked the face of the earth who has allowed room for no other authority and Who has had the audacity to make the claim, “I am the way, the truth, the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” That is a claim with which every human being must deal. A man may choose to live in ignorance of it; he may ignore it after he knows of it; he may ridicule it; or he may find peace and security in it — but every man has to face that claim and react to it in some way.
For myself, I have faced it and accepted it as truth, because I cannot deny the mountainous evidence that supports it. For yourself, you can ignore His claim and hold yourself in willful ignorance of its veracity. Nobody can make you do otherwise. Of all the desire in the heart of someone who loves you, for you to make spiritual decisions knowledgeably will accomplish nothing for you until you have the desire yourself, but the claim is still there. Christ is still looking in defiance at every man who has ever taught any other form of religion, and He is still saying, “I am the way…” and He backed His claim with the resurrection. Unbelievers from the first century down to today have tried to discredit the resurrection, but the proofs are there, and the honest person who investigates has to be convinced by them. No other man has broken the bonds of death, holding out firm assurance to all those who sleep.