• Jacquey Newton

Choice of Two Trees

When the Creator planted the garden of Eden, He put two trees in the centre of it.

Today, these same two trees stand at the centre of life.

Genesis 2:8-9 NLT

8 Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. 9 The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The tree of Life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil stand at the centre of our lives today.

Genesis 2:15-17

15 The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. 16 But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— 17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”

The meaning of the tree of knowledge of good and evil can be understood by the serpents reply to Eve,

Genesis 3:1-5

1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. 3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

The fall of humanity was all about women and men assuming the attitude that they don’t need anyone to tell them what to do. They would decide for themselves what is good and what is bad. They would be self-sufficient and self-determining.

It is so easy to miss something important when reading – the Tree of Life.

God wanted humans to eat from the Tree of Life.

Eating from the tree of Life meant receiving the uncreated life of God into oneself.

The tree of Life was God’s own life made accessible to human beings.

Today the tree of Life is Jesus.

Back on 23rd August we read about Jesus living in us. Check it out here: and also 20th September

When we receive Jesus, we receive the life of God - Divine Life becomes ours.

Living by God’s life is very different from living by the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Daily we make choices between the two trees.

A person who is living by the tree of Life doesn’t sit back and say,

“Let me try to do good and avoid evil.”

Instead they allow the life of God to flow within and through them. They yield to the instincts, prompts and energy of that God-life.

If one lives by the tree of knowledge of good and evil, one could say,

“I don’t do evil, I only do good, I’m not evil therefore I am good.”

But that doesn’t hold up.

As we saw last week…. Only God is good. Mt:16-17

Today we face two choices:

1) The choice to intellectually know good from evil and to try to do good = tree of knowledge of good and evil

2) Living by the Life of God, which is goodness itself = tree of Life

The choice if yours….

When God’s people begin living by their indwelling Lord, the world around us will begin to get a glimpse of the real Jesus. We need to yield to Him and be empowered by Him to go out into the world.

So the Lord’s challenge for each of us, is

To move beyond the knowledge of good an evil and,

To move into a full surrenders to the Life of Christ that beats within each of us and every child of God.

It’s one thing to work for God.

It’s another thing to work with God

And it’s yet another to have God work through you.

This only happens when we are living by the tree of Life and Christ becomes the Motivation and the Source of our service. In this way we discover what it means to serve in the Lords energy rather than our own.

This weeks worship playlist is available here:

There is a talk available here about the choices we face

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Living Waters Lynton United Reformed Church
Lee Road, Lynton, Devon EX35 6BS