The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

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What is the tree of life mentioned in the Bible?

A tree made from the ground (dust of the earth), pleasant to look at, good for food, located inside the Garden of Eden and in the paradise of God, and is representative of life that is in Jesus Christ.

What is the purpose of the tree of life?

The tree represented the gift of eternal life that comes from knowing and partaking of Jesus Christ.

Why is there a tree of life?

The tree of life is a contrast to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The former is God’s gift for nourishment to sustain life. It represents life in Christ, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil represents death under the law. The fruit of the latter was forbidden.

In the garden, the forbidden fruit was the only point of law that Adam and Eve were aware of and accountable to obey. As a result of breaking this one point of law, they became guilty of all points of law, just as James 2:10 describes, saying,

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Disobedience led to banishment from the tree of life because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Thus, the tree of life was available for food and nourishment of life as long as Adam and Eve did not sin.

How was the tree of life made?

In the Garden of Eden, it was made from the ground by God (Genesis 2:9).

Where was the tree of life located?

Inside the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9). It is also located in the paradise of God (Revelation 2:7) growing in and on either side of the river of life flowing from the throne of God (Revelation 22:2).

How is the tree of life that is mentioned in Genesis different from the tree of life in Revelation?

In Genesis, the tree of life is made from the ground and grown in the ground in the Garden of Eden. That garden has since been washed away by the flood. The tree of life in Revelation is in paradise, the city of God, in the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 22:14) and grows in the river of life flowing from the throne of God. The old earth will cease to exist (2 Peter 3:10).

Was every tree created to produce fruit?

All trees produce fruit. Every tree in the Garden of Eden was created to produce edible fruit (Genesis 2:9).

Does the tree of life give eternal life?

Jesus alone gives eternal life by way of imputing righteousness to souls in the spiritual new birth. Acts 4:12 says,

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

In John 14:6, Jesus said,

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The physical tree of life represented Jesus Christ and thus was named the tree of life. Eternal life in Chirst, like the fruit in the garden, is a gift from God to sustain life. The fruit of the tree of life nourished and fed the body. Thus, the tree of life is used as a metaphor in Scriptures. For example, Proverbs 11:30 says,

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

Proverbs 3:18 speaks of wisdom saying,

She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

Why does Genesis 3:22 say that if the fruit of the tree of life was eaten, Adam and Eve would live forever?

The tree of life represented the eternal life that comes from believing in Jesus Christ. Thus, the tree was a metaphor of Jesus of Christ and represented eternal life. Sin separates from God, so Adam and Eve were banished from the tree of life. If they had continued to eat from the fruit of the tree of life, the typology of the gospel would have been corrupted, and they would have continued to nourish the life in their bodies though they were condemned and dead in sin. This contradiction was not allowed to happen.

Why did God banish Adam and Eve from the garden and the tree of life instead of allowing them to be forgiven and regain access to the tree of life?

Because as Christians, though our spirits are regenerated and made new in Christ, our bodies are not. Spiritual life is regained immediately when one believes in Jesus Christ, but not physical life in this body. God removed them from the garden to show that sin removes you from God and the privileges that He gives you. Because the wages of sin is death, they could no longer have access to the tree that represented life.

Why did God not call the tree of knowledge of good and evil the tree of death to better contrast with the tree of life?

The tree of knowledge of good and evil did bring death, but only because eating its fruit was disobedience to God. Knowledge of good and evil is knowledge of the law. For unregenerate souls, such knowledge brings accountability for sin and the certainty of condemnation.

However, knowledge of good and evil is not death for the righteous. Christians have the knowledge of good and evil, but because they are regenerated with Christ’s righteousness, they will not die (2 Corinthians 5:21).


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