Q. I would like to hear your thoughts on Genesis 3:22. What does God mean in this verse? How did we become like “Them”, and what does it mean to know good and evil? Also, please explain the concept of man eating from the Garden’s Tree of Life and living forever after sinning? Did this mean that Adam would have circumvented the Redemptive Plan?
A. Genesis 3:22 says “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
By attaining the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve had become like God (the Hebrew word for God is plural, hence the use of the plural pronoun “us”), just as the serpent had said they would (Gen. 3:5).
But in their disobedience they had also acquired a “sin nature”, something God doesn’t have and the serpent neglected to mention. This meant they now had knowledge of everything evil with no restraint against acting on it. If they also attained eternal life there would be no limit to the damage and destruction they could cause and the creation would be forever ruined. In their desire to become like God, they had actually become like the serpent.
Making them mortal placed limits on their capacity for evil. And they could choose to be redeemed, as long as they did so during their mortal lives. But from that time on, mankind has been trapped in a perpetual state of sin, with no hope of freeing ourselves. It’s why we need a savior.