Was Man Created Immortal?

Many people believe that man was created immortal with no possibility of death. This is not the case. Death has always been the penalty for sin and so we can say that death was always a possibility for man, and as such he was created mortal (Gen. 2:17). Although man was created mortal, with the possibility of dying, it was also possible for him to live forever in his sinful condition. In the Garden of Eden there was not one tree, but two. There was a tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17). This is the tree from which Adam and the woman were forbidden to eat. Upon eating its fruit they became sinful. In the garden there was also a tree of life that made it possible for humans to live forever (Gen. 3:22). God banished Adam and the woman, now named Eve (Gen. 3:20), from the tree of life as penalty for their sin, thus making it impossible for them to live forever in their sinful condition.

“Then the LORD God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever – .’” (Gen. 3:22)

We have a desire to return to the tree of life. We have made great advances in nutrition, learning that fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants have healing powers in our bodies. Most people assume the fruit of the tree of knowledge was an apple, at least in church dramas this is true. If the fruit of the tree of knowledge was an apple then the fruit of the tree of life was a blueberry. Maybe it was acai, which seems to be the current rage. Give me a prophet star on this one, but at some point people will realize the nutritional quality of dirt. At some point in the future people will start popping dirt pills and eating dirt cakes, write it down. We have an insatiable appetite to live forever. We want the tree of life. Although at some point we may find the nutritional benefit of plaster, we will never regain the tree. God has banished man from the tree. We will die.

The truth is that since God will not allow us to return to the tree of life people full of blueberries and acai will die and return to dirt. Although God will not allow us to return to the tree of life He has given us a new hope of eternal life in His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus can do for humans what the tree of life could not do. The tree could keep us alive but it could not erase the stain of sin nor its impact on our psyche. The tree of life could not reverse the effect of the tree of knowledge. The Bible tells us that in Jesus Christ man not only gains eternal life, but he is regenerate (2 Cor. 5:17, . In Jesus Christ man becomes truly alive, spiritually, in communion with God. Through God’s Holy Spirit indwelling humans we begin to see things differently than we did before (Romans 8). Our behavior begins to change. Our values begin to change. We grow in Christ likeness. We do not need a tree, we need a Savior.


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