/ Barry York

Three Trees

Having clear, simple ways to sow gospel seeds is helpful to any Christian (see here for some other ideas I have shared). Below is a brief way to tell the gospel story using the Biblical theme of trees.

To understand the message of the Bible, God has given us three trees to help.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil - When God created man and woman, He did so perfectly because He Himself is perfect. God put these two people, the historical parents of the human race named Adam and Eve, in a garden paradise called Eden. There were many beautiful trees there that had good things for them to eat, but there were two special trees God planted in Eden.

The first of these trees was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Lord clearly told Adam and Eve not to eat of this tree. He said, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die" (Gen. 2:16-17). This tree was placed in the garden to teach them and their descendants that obeying God is good and results in blessing and eternal life, but disobeying God is evil and brings forth pain and death.

Sadly, when the devil came into the garden in the form of a serpent and tempted the first two humans to doubt God's word, they listened to him. They ate the fruit of this tree. As a result, the Lord brought His promised punishment on them. Adam and Eve, and by consequence all their descendants, were driven from Paradise and the other tree that was in that garden. As a result, all mankind now suffers the sin, pain, and death we see all around us.

The Tree of Life - The other tree that was in that garden was the Tree of Life. Had Adam and Eve not disobeyed, they would have been allowed to eat from this tree. They and their descendants would have lived forever with God in a growing paradise.

But because they sinned, God decided that they could not remain in the garden. He said regarding man, "'Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever,' therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken" (Gen. 3:22-23). Being sent away from the Tree of Life meant that all of mankind was now doomed to death in both body and soul. Every person's body eventually succumbs to the evil and disease of this world from this judgment. And every person's soul, dead to God and devoid of His true knowledge, is destined to perish in hell away from God eternally after this death.

Is there any way to be restored and regain access to the Tree of Life? Yes, because thankfully God provided the third tree!

The Tree of the Cross - Seeing mankind in his plight, God promised help even in the garden right after Adam and Eve sinned. He said that a Savior would be born that would one day crush the devil even though it would cost Him dearly (Gen. 3:15). The Bible tells us that the Savior that came was God's Son, Jesus Christ, who became man. He lived the perfect life we cannot in order to save us and provide access back to the Tree of Life.

But this meant that Jesus had to die on the cross to face the judgment we deserve. The cross, made of wood, is referred to in the Bible as a tree also. As the Apostle Paul told one church, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree'” (Gal. 3:13). God placed our sin and judgment on Christ as He died on the cross so that He, in turn, could give us His righteousness. To show His power to save us, God raised Jesus by His Spirit from the grave three days after He died and seated Him on heaven's throne.

What must one do to receive this access back to the Tree of Life? See your disobedience God as the death sentence it is, turn away from the sins that cause it, and believe that Jesus is the Lord and Savior who has taken away this judgment and provided eternal life to you. This hope is offered to anyone in any nation that believes in the gospel message of Jesus Christ. For, as the Bible ends with this beautiful picture of those who believe in a magnificent, heavenly garden, it tells us this: "On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations" (Rev. 22:2). Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and taste the wonderful, healing fruit that He provides!

Barry York

Barry York

Sinner by Nature - Saved by Grace. Husband of Miriam - Grateful for Privilege. Father of Six - Blessed by God. President of RPTS - Serve with Thankfulness. Author - Hitting the Marks.

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