Reading: Genesis 3:1-24
The Christian can be sure, not only that he is saved in the present, but that his salvation is secure for the future, that he will indeed persevere in the gospel and be with Christ in eternity. Paul continually comforts his readers with the thought that the Christ who saves the soul also secures the soul; it cannot be lost. The basis of this hope is in the goodness of God. This is the comfort the apostle Paul brings to the Corinthians. Your security is not in your fidelity to God but in God’s fidelity to you: “God is faithful” (1 Corinthians 1:9). He told the Philippians, “He which hath begun … will perform” (Philippians 1:6) and the Romans, nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:35–39).
When God drove Adam from the Garden of Eden to prevent him from eating of the tree of life it was an act of preserving grace. The temptation for Adam would have been to “put forth his hand and take of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.” God was not withholding immortality from Adam and Eve; He was preserving them for the true “life and immortality” promised in Christ, God’s appointed way.
God preserved Adam and protected him from the temptation of the tree of life by the flaming swords. Adam was to put Eden and the failure of the covenant of works behind him. “Life and immortality” was before him, but only by Christ who is the Tree of Life, “whose leaves are for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:2). Even death by the flaming swords would have been a mercy to Adam had he tried to undo sin by his own works. God preserves us from folly for our good and His glory (sometimes even through death (1 Corinthians 11:30). Lord, teach me that my salvation is secure in Christ and that my works can add nothing to it nor take from it.
“This right [to the tree of life] being again restored to us by Jesus Christ, therefore they are pronounced blessed that do God’s commands because they have the ‘right to the tree of life,’ that is to eternal life and immortality.” Ezekiel Hopkins (Works 3:592)