In the beginning of Genesis we are told about a specific tree in the Garden of Eden which man should not have eaten from – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
“And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight or to be desired – good (suitable, pleasant) for food; the tree of life also in the center of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of [the difference between] good and evil and blessing and calamity.” Gen 2:9
“…But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Gen 2:17
God did not want mankind to eat from this tree, because He knew that this constant awareness of good and evil would take away the life He intended for man. He intended man to live in a close relationship with Him – to be so captivated by His presence that no knowledge of good and evil would be necessary. The death He was referring to is separation from God, the most terrible fate imaginable. The moment man ate of this tree his eyes suddenly opened to the law (the knowledge of good and evil), and the condemnation that the law brought caused him to hide himself from God’s presence (Gen 3:8).
Thank goodness God removed man from the Garden before he ate of the Tree of Life (referring to Jesus) in that state! Otherwise we would’ve been doomed to an eternity of submitting to rules and regulations – an eternity without the close companionship of God. The truth is we have been set free and redeemed by Christ, and we can once again live in glorious fellowship with God.
“[It is He] Who has qualified us [making us to be fit and worthy and sufficient] as ministers and dispensers of a new covenant [of salvation through Christ], not [ministers] of the letter (of legally written code) but of the Spirit; for the code [of the Law] kills, but the [Holy] Spirit makes alive.” 2 Cor 3:6