Gen. 2:16-17 “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.”
This certainly gave Adam/Eve a choice: to have eternal life by eating the fruit of the “tree of life” or die by eating the fruit of “tree of knowledge of good and evil. And, they acted on their personal choice having “free will” to do so.
Notice that Adam & Eve chose and preferred to “be like him”, the Creator, with knowledge of “good and evil”, instead of “immortality” like the angels by eating the fruit of the “tree of life”. They chose and preferred wisdom over immortality. But, while their choice of “being like him” and risking eternal “second death” was correct, their method of achieving that goal by disobeying God was wrong and sinful. What was wrong with what they did was not so much as their choice of having wisdom over immortality since God wanted us to know “good and evil” by the Ten Commandments through the aegis of the Holy Spirit. Their mistake was their method to achieve that goal to “be like him” on their “own works”, i.e. by themselves “eating the fruit”. But, let us backtrack so that we can fully understand what happened in the “garden of Eden”.
Jesus “was slain from the foundation” (Rev. 13:8), even way before the garden of Eden and certainly before the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God is omniscient and knew that, when given a choice to “die or be like him”(the Creator YHVH ELOHIM), Adam/Eve would choose the latter, even at the risk of “eternal death”. This was not a test on Adam, as God also knew that, while man was made “perfect and good”, he was “flesh”, “weak”.(Matt. 26:41; Mk. 14:38) and would choose the wrong path. This was well-planned from the beginning and executed perfectly.
But, God wanted to be on record, through the narrative in Genesis, that to “be like him” would not be through the “works of Adam”. It would not be through man “reaching out and eating the fruit of the forbidden tree”. Adam/Eve did not know the way to be “like him”, and subsequently sinned against God. God was giving an indication that the way was not through “man-Adam” but through “another man”, man-Jesus . This is the essence of the “gospel of the kingdom of God”.
To be like YHVH ELOHIM, would be by “grace through faith” of this specific Creator in Genesis, the Logos in John 1, the same one that incarnated into man-Jesus. The “faith of Jesus” in whom? In the Father, that what He promised, He would fulfill. What was this covenantal promise of the Father to the Son?
It is a continuum of these promises:
That if this YHVH ELOHIM CREATOR, the LOGOS would “strip himself of or give up his divine privileges”(Phil. 2:5-11), thus incarnate and die, then his death would be reckoned as payment in full for the sins of mankind to be reconciled to the Father. Having thus reconciled by Jesus’ death, the Father would then resurrect him, “in a twinkling of an eye” as an immortal body, “firstborn from the dead” (Col.1:18) as “Son of God”, the first of “firstfruits”, the “wavesheaf offering. We will then be saved by his life (Rom. 5:10) and the Holy Spirit would be sent (Jn 16:7). This HS would then “in-dwell” in us, the temple not made by hands (Acts 7:48; 17:24), so God the Potter can re-do what is best for us, the “marred clay” (Jer. 18:4). This promise of the Holy Spirit in us will seal, guide, teach, help us overcome temptation and direct us to develop the “wisdom” of God, the “mind of Christ”
Therefore, let us not “grieve” but instead follow willingly this Holy Spirit in us, as man-Jesus did (Lu.22:42) to express the “fruits of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23). While our faith in God and our good works are important, what matters most and ultimately the only ones that God recognized by grace were the “faith of Jesus and the works of the Holy Spirit”.
With the Spirit in us, this promise will be fulfilled: “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, (immortal bodies) which is in the midst of the paradise of God”( Rev. 2:7). Overcoming is with using the “tool of power” coming from the Holy Spirit in us, and therefore not entirely “our” works but the ” fruits of the HS” given by grace through the faith of Jesus, the “righteousness” that matters. God the Father wanted us from the beginning to have “first”, the wisdom and mind of Christ, and then change from mortal to immortal ” in a twinkling of an eye” to live eternally(immortality) but only through His strategic plan.
This is the ” kingdom of God” made up of spirit beings in the likeness of Jesus, the Son of God, the Head of the Church and Body of Christ, “one” with him and by extension “one” with the Father.