Genesis 2:16-17 says, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Let’s also read Genesis 3:6, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

One good ‘rule of thumb’ to use when reading God’s Word is that every word should be taken as literal unless it is obvious that it is to be taken as an allegory or an analogy. One such passage that we would not take literal is Matthew 5:29-30, “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” It should be obvious to everyone that the Lord is not teaching us to cut off certain parts of our bodies so that our whole body might not be cast into Hell.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was a real tree, even as the Garden of Eden was real, the tree of life was real, Adam and Eve were real and the serpent was real. If we refuse to accept any of these as literal, then we would have to accept them all as just allegories. It is important to realize the realness of the incident of the first sin, which was an act of disobedience. Can you imagine living in a world where there was only ONE SIN? There was only ONE THING that Adam or Eve could have done that would have been considered as sin. There was only ONE THING in all the world that they were prohibited from doing…and they did it.

We read of the results of their sin in Romans 5:12 which says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” We see that we have the same sinful, rebellious nature that our parents, Adam and Eve had: “All have sinned.” Romans 3:23 confirms this truth. That says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We read in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We have all sinned and we deserve to die an eternal death. But, God has a gift for us. That gift is eternal life through believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Although we deserve death, the Lord wants to give us life. The Lord Jesus, Himself said in John 6:47, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” We read in John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” This is not an allegory. This is real. This is literal. I will end by asking this simple question, found in John 11:26, “…Believest thou this?” (166.9)