Do you live on the mountain for some time and then in the valley some other time? Do you seem to be victorious for a while with the sense of being a loser biting at you later? Do you enjoy spiritual bliss often interjected with confusion and stagnancy? Do you intend to know Christ beyond religion, then read this.
Yes, don’t eat that fruit. That was what the Lord explicitly told Adam. Well, that was Adam, so is God really saying this to me today? Well, he is. Check 2 Corinthians 11:3. He said it to the Corinthian church under “apostolic instruction”. If you count yourself as part of the blood purchased church of Christ, his body, then you need to listen. The tree that bore that fruit was located in the midst (the centre) of the garden. So it was the obvious tree no matter in which part of the garden you are located. The scripture did say Eve was deceived to eat it (2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:14). Now, you are not deceived unless you think something is what it is not. So Eve was convinced she was doing the right thing until the result proved otherwise. That is why it is called deception. So, what is so enticing about this fruit from the midst of the garden?.
It is called the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Well, that does not sound bad right?. Trying to know the difference between good and evil seems like a good venture to anyone with common sense. Let us check out the discourse between the serpent and the woman.
Genesis 3: 4-6 (NKJV)
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
What do we know
- She was told what God said would not happen ( verse 4)
- She was told if she intended to be like God, then the method was to eat that fruit ( verse 5)
- This way of going about it made sense to her ( verse 6)
What great motivations she has? -To be like God. What is wrong with that?. She had good and great intentions just like many of us who are not playing around with God’s plan for us. We want to be like him. We want a life that counts for him. In Eve’s case, should not her end plan of becoming like God justify the means she was imbibing. Well, the point is this, in the kingdom, the end does not justify the means. That was why when Adam said he was naked (Genesis 3:10) , the Lord did not query what he said but the means or source through which he knew was naked. God must get the glory through the means and the end. Please, let us not down play of Eves desire to be like God. So ,what is the problem with this?. It is hard to fault Eve’s intention in this pursuit. Well this is the main problem: She was trying to become what she already was!
Would you like to read that again? Yes, you read it right. She was trying to become what she was. Read Genesis 1:27
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
They were already in his image and likeness. She allowed her experience and encounter with the serpent to make her discredit what God said (Genesis 11:4) and then she tried to achieve or attain what she was. It is called chasing the shadows. It is like a dog chasing its own tail. It is a futile and wasteful exercise.
That is the pursuit of some Christians. They want to be righteous. They want to be holy. They want God to always be happy to bless them . They are afraid to offend God and lose out on his favour for their life and family etc. The list goes on. The candid question you need to ask yourself is how are you going to achieve this? Don’t eat that fruit…
The fruit says once you know the difference between good and evil, do the good and right so as to become like him, be in his good books and enjoy all the benefits he has as God. When Eve bought into the lie, she and her husband became less like God as they could not fellowship with the Lord as before. It was mercy that made the Lord drive them out if not mankind would have been in that state forever. That would be an issue for future discourse.
You see many Christians are striving hard to be what the Lord said they are. If any man is in Christ he is a new creation, old things are passed away, all things are become new ( 2 Corinthians 5:17). All things are become new…….. Yes, ‘’new’’ even though you have not done anything to become new, you only believe what the Lord said about you being in Christ. Outside Christ is death and in him is life.
See what the Lord said about you:
- You are righteous already (2 corinthians 5: 21)
- You are perfect (Hebrews 10:14)
- You are holy (Hebrews 10:4)
- You are already accepted (Ephesians 1:6)
The list goes on and on…
Now, just like Eve disbelieved what the Lord said about death if they ate that fruit, so many Christians live is subtle disbelief on God’s claim about the fact life is only in Christ and outside him is death . How did I know that? Ok, take this test.
- Do I think I am acceptable to the Lord because of what I do or don’t do? So, I need to focus on making the right choices as this affects what the Lord thinks of me.
- Do I need to make sure I am in God’s good book so that he can continue to bless me and my endeavours?
- Do I feel I am becoming more righteous and holy by making sure I don’t do things that offend God
- Do I need to read my bible regularly, pray and ‘’go to church’’ in order to make sure that God uses me?
The list goes on…
If you answered positive, you have already set on your teeth on the fruit. Spit it out.
What? Are you asking me to become complacent? Are you saying it does not matter what I do? Do you mean anything goes? This has to be greasy grace and sloppy agape. I have heard people are preaching this today and they would go to hell.
Well, do you really think so?
Please hold on and listen. I am quite aware that we are told to add things to our faith (2 Peter 1:5), to be and live holy (1 Peter 1:16), to put on Christ (Romans 13:14). Yes, I am aware of that. The problem we have with the above verses is that we interpret them with our religiosity antennae fully transmitting. Remember, if we are not susceptible to wrongly dividing the word, the Lord would not ask us to rightly divide the word (2 Timothy 2:15) . Well, we would not be able to clarify the above verses until some other time so that we don’t get distracted from what we are looking at. But know this, Adam and Eve were not supposed to sit down and do nothing. The Lord actually expected Adam and Eve to eat of the tree of life in the garden which is a type of Christ. How did I know that? They were told to eat every other fruit except the one from the tree of knowledge of good and evil? .
So, what is the point you are making I can hear you asking? The issue is that your knowledge of right and wrong and doing only affects your disposition towards God and not God’s disposition towards you. Now, think about that for a minute. You are welcome to raise contrary scriptures and views. Please be happy to do this beneath this post as comment. You are thinking how biblical is this. This is sloppy agape and greasy grace. Wait. God’s love is unconditional . In fact Romans 5:8 says he loved us when we were yet sinners. Why do some Christians have a dangerous perspective that accepts God’s unconditional love when they become born again and then live under it as if it is conditional after they get saved. James 1:17 says that God does not change like shifting shadows. Romans 11:29 says his gifts and calling are irrevocable. You must live your new life in Christ the same way you started it. Colossians 2:6 says that as we received the Lord, so we have to walk in him. If we received is unconditional love, we have to walk in his unconditional love all by grace. So, what happens when you do wrong, speak wrong, neglect to pray and read the word of God or forsake Christian fellowship, it affects how you are able to keep that love in focus (Jude 1:12) which in turn affects how you are able to receive from the Lord even though his arms always outstretched and his favour is ever on you (James 1:5). James 1:5 says he gives and does not find fault. However, what you do or don’t do greatly determines your receiving.
So relax, don’t try to make him favour you all the time, bless you, accept you or use you. He is looking at you in Christ and that would forever be his standpoint. He has done and is doing for you what was executed in Christ. So, it is not about you. What you do or don’t do would never make him change his mind about you. Stop living in guilt, condemnation, up and down life , your own created prison and achievement agenda just like Eve. Bless the Lord and open yourself to receive all he has for you and that cannot change not even by you. What you believe about this would ultimately affect how you react to life circumstances, your experiential dominion over sin and your daily victory in Christ.