The story of man begins with God creating man and placing him in the Garden of Eden to begin his life. Man was a living soul, clothed in a body so that the soul could exist on the earth. Man appeared to be neutral in the status of the nature of his soul. While Jesus was fully man and fully God or divine, and now, since the fall of Adam, all men at birth are fully man and fully sinners it appears Adam was neutral. He was created, placed in the Garden and able to communicate with God and do the work assigned to him in his original state. This was good.
The Word says in Genesis 2:9, “Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
Here we have the first mention of the two trees: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They were both in the garden. God planted them there. At this moment their function and the implications of eating from them has not been made known.
Genesis 2:15-17, “Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Now we see the instructions from the Lord to Adam and the consequence of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which is he will die. Why Adam doesn’t eat from the tree of life during his time in the Garden is unknown but he doesn’t. But this is ok for Adam is still able to dwell in the Garden with God in his natural state.
After the fall as recored in Genesis 3 Adam has now experienced the repercussions of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What is initially important is that the seed of the tree is now in him. Adam is now grafted into the tree and is unable to ungraft himself from the tree. Adam’s behavior indicates the fruit of the seed of the tree which is unbelief. Unbelief leads man to flee from God because man is now naked and ashamed and to cover his nakedness by clothing himself in his own works.
This behavior is critical to understand in order to identify the fruit of unbelief. It’s very specific according to Scripture and it’s this behavior that every descendant of Adam possesses at birth.
Now we know Jesus refers to Himself as the vine and we are the branches in John 15:1-11. Mankind therefore is a branch of a vine not a vine or a root (Paul refers to God as the root in Romans 11:16). There are only two trees of which we can be a branch. The tree of life, which happens in salvation, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which happens at our birth. The only way to change trees, become ungrafted from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and be grafted into the tree of life, is in salvation.
Once you are grafted into the tree of life then the Holy Spirit flows through your soul bearing the fruit of faith: the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23a).
But if you remain grafted into the tree of knowledge of good and evil you will bear the fruit of unbelief and the flesh: Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).
So which tree are you grafted into? Which fruit do you bear: the fruit of unbelief or belief?There is only one way to be grafted into the tree of life and that is to believe in Jesus Christ. As long as you don’t believe you will remain a branch of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.