Thursday, September 8, 2005

The Knowledge We Need

The fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is always evil. It is never just the good by itself, but is always mixed with evil. Evil is nothing more than the lack of the good.
  • Darkness is the absence of light.
  • Hate is the absence of love.
  • Sickness is the absence of health.
  • Brokenness is the absence of wholeness.
  • Poverty is the absence of provision.
When good is mixed with evil the final result is always a lack of good. Even great good, when it is mixed with a little evil, is evil in the end.

We therefore do not need to know evil, not even a little bit, for it will always bring us up short of the wonderful plan God has for us. That is what the Bible means when it says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). God created us to experience and be full of His glory — the extreme value of every good thing in Him. That is what the Tree of Life is all about.

But we have fallen short of that wonderful experience. The Greek word for “sin” literally means to “miss the mark.” That is, we have “missed the mark” of knowing the glory of God.

We do not need to know good and evil; we need to know the glory of God. The whole earth is full of His glory, but the world does not see because it is still eating from the wrong tree. Paul said,
If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them … For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:3-6)
The “god of this age” is the one who tempted Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He wants us to be consumed with that knowledge. He does not mind us knowing the good, but he also wants us to focus on evil. He is quite content with those who will even identify and avoid evil and focus on doing good. For they are deceived into thinking that their good works will bring forth life and the intimate, personal knowledge of God’s glory. But His glory will never be revealed to us in that way.

The only way to know the glory of God is to eat of the Tree of Life. For the light of the knowledge of the glory of God is not revealed in our good works but in the face of Jesus Christ. He is the Tree of Life, the righteousness of God by whom we are made righteous. The knowledge we need is in knowing Him.