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The Tree of Life
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: The creation account moves from a general overview of the heavens and the earth to focus on Adam and his place in the world. He is made from the dust of the ground and becomes a living creature by the very breath of God. He is placed in a productive environment, surrounded by beauty, and given the task of cultivating the ground and caring for the garden. He is given the freedom to eat from every tree of the garden but commanded not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The events that follow give an ominous tone to the text, reminding us that this world has not always been so broken. The original audience was thus informed that they too owed their lives to God and that their enjoyment of the Promised Land was to be governed by God’s commandments, bringing life to all who recognized their place before the Lord and bringing death to all who placed themselves above the Lord.
01. God is the giver of life; therefore, we all owe our lives to God.
02. God requires the life of all who sin; therefore, we all face death and separation from God.
03. God became a man to save us from our sin; therefore, we must respond by repentance and faith.
04. God is the giver of eternal life; therefore, we shall enjoy the benefits from the tree of life.
Questions for Discussion and Discovery
1. How does Genesis 2 help us to understand the composition of human beings as possessing both body and soul? Is there a distinction between soul and spirit in the Bible? In light of the creation account and 1 Corinthians 15, why is it important to affirm the resurrection of the body?
2. What do the geographic descriptions suggest about the historicity of the garden of Eden? How does the description of Eden’s bounty and beauty highlight God’s goodness? Is it possible to locate the garden of Eden on a map today? Is it still guarded by angels, as noted in Genesis 3:22-24?
3. How does the reference to Adam being made of dust from the ground illustrate the weakness of mankind in light of the greatness of God? Note how the reference to Adam’s origins from dust is used again in Genesis 3:19. In what way does this reference highlight the deadly nature of sin?
4. Why did God plant a tree of life and a tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden? What is wrong with comparing Adam and Eve to children who do the opposite of what we tell them to do? (Hint: did Adam and Eve have a sinful nature when they were created?)
5. Note the significance of the tree of life as it appears in Proverbs 3:18, 11:30, and 15:4. How does our aim to live wisely reflect the purpose of life in general? How does the appearance of the tree of life in Revelation 22:2 and 22:19 point us to eternal life?
For Further Reading: C. H. Spurgeon, Advice for Seekers (originally published, 1890; Banner of Truth Edition, 2016).