The Tree of Good & Evil Pandora's Box
Updated: Nov 29, 2021
Pandora’s box comes from the ancient Greek story about a character named Pandora, who was given a box as a wedding gift but was ordered not to open it. Eventually, curiosity overcame her and she opened the box, releasing death, evil, and misery into the world. The term Pandora’s box was first used in English to refer to something that could cause many problems sometime around 1570.
The term Pandora’s box typically refers to something that is best left alone because it could cause problems if it is used, said, or done.
The story of Pandora’s box is a legend used by ancient Greeks to explain not only human weakness, but also how pain and suffering were first inflicted on the human race.
According to legend, Pandora was the first human woman on Earth. She was given many gifts, including beauty, curiosity, wit, intelligence, and strength, and in fact, the name ‘Pandora’ in Greek means ‘one who bears all gifts’.
Pandora was also given another very special gift: a box. She was told that the box contained even more offerings but that she must never, ever open it.
This is a very interesting paradigm shift, from the garden of Eden.
Her curiosity eventually got the better of her, however, and Pandora opened the box. When she did, she quickly realized it contained illness, hardship, trouble, and pain – not the beautiful gifts she had expected! Pandora tried to close the box and stop the suffering from going out into the world, but it was too late. She shut the lid on the box, trapping Hope inside.
The most revealing thing of the matter is that we can see a direct link to what happened in the Garden of Eden and what's happening today as it relates to the demise of Marriages and the family. Let's take another peek!
The Garden of Eden
Most of us are familiar with the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. What gets our attention is usually their disobedience, which makes sense. Disobeying God is a serious matter. But have you ever wondered why it was so terrible to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? How could this lead to the fall of all mankind? And when God told Adam and Eve not to eat of that tree, was it just a test to see whether they would obey Him?
Since Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating of the tree of knowledge, God couldn’t just look the other way. He’s absolutely righteous, and this righteousness required Him to punish them and banish them from the garden.
We were committed to loving God and each other in a sphere of undeniable, love, compassion, peace, and assurance that all we had to do was speak the words and it was. BUT something happened. Although God wanted that he also wanted us to choose between serving Him. So here comes the trying of your faith in Him. You see although he gave them all they needed He wanted to know what was really in man and if he would allow anything to confront or alter what they knew was good over that which was not. But the question now comes, to mind. How could they have known; anything but good. So the plan was put in place.
Now....meditate upon that Selah!
The bigger problem
Let’s suppose a mother tells her child, “Don’t drink from this bottle. What’s in here is poisonous.” Does she give the child that commandment simply to test whether he will obey her? Of course not; rather, her commandment is a loving warning. If the child were to disobey and drink from the bottle, certainly his disobedience would be an issue. But the child would have been poisoned, which is a much bigger problem. You see I know this..my twin sister died from drinking a bottle of shoe polish.
This scenario is very similar to Adam and Eve’s situation in the garden. The issue wasn’t merely that they’d disobeyed God; rather, the much bigger problem was what they took in and the effect it had on them. And because Adam represents all mankind, what happened there affected every human being. and it has only gotten worst through the ages because we refuse to obey, take head and or nourish one another with the truth in love.
We rather use our freedom of expression as a means to show the world that we are free to do what we want when we want without repercussion. The day you eat of the fruit of this world you will die. The day you eat you will die or be separated from God.
What does it mean to be separated from God?
There will no longer be any deception about the “goodness of man.” To be separated from God is to be forever shut off from light ( 1 John 1:5 ), love ( 1 John 4:8 ), joy ( Matthew 25:23 ), and peace ( Ephesians 2:14) because God is the source of all those good things.
You have two choices in this life.
Two trees in the garden of Eden
God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in order to protect them. That tree represented Satan, the source of death, so He warned them that if they ate of it, they would die.
But in the garden was another tree: the tree of life. The tree of life represented God, the source of life. This was the tree God wanted man to partake of to receive Him as the divine life.
As much as God wanted to share His divine life with man, He wouldn’t force the being He created to eat of this tree. Instead, God wanted man to use his free will to choose Him. He could heed God’s warning or not. It was up to him.
Satan deceiving Adam and Eve
In dealing with Adam and Eve, God was honest about the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He warned them that eating of this tree would result in death, but he left the choice up to them.
Satan, on the contrary, was deceitful. He came to Eve in the garden, disguised as a serpent. The devil knew that if Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge, the human beings God created to express Him would ingest the poison of his evil nature and be corrupted by sin and death forever.
Satan craftily twisted God’s words to Eve and even lied outright, insinuating that God was withholding something good from the couple. He made her doubt His good heart for them. Genesis 3:6 tells us what happened next:
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make oneself wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband with her, and he ate.”
Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and by their act of disobedience, they took in the poisonous nature of the devil. The consequences of what they did were profound, affecting all humanity—even until today.
We are to be dead to sin which separates us from the love of God
Instead, we are indebted to the Lingering, Habitual, and Out of control desire of the flesh which is rooted in every lustful desire. How would you describe the persistence of sin in your life? Many Christians, even though they are sincerely committed to following Christ, continue to live with besetting sins. They continue to feel as if they are powerless to overcome the impulse to act against God's commands and their own better judgment. It's easy to believe this is just the way things are. Nobody's perfect, right? Pretending like we are feeling self-righteous or hypocritical. Popular culture accepts and sometimes celebrates, the fact that we each have our deep and personal hang-ups. Everyone has a skeleton in her closet. It's not a matter of if you have an addiction, a secret indulgence, a private vice. It's a matter of which one and when it will come to light. If this is true, maybe we should just accept our weaknesses and embrace them as part of who we are.
But here the Scriptures stop us. A persistent theme of the New Testament, especially in the letters by Paul, is that the sinful habits we find so hard to shake are not an integral part of us. We are not condemned to sin forever. Instead, Paul insists that Christians can be "dead to sin." We can be free from the guilt and power of it." Today's cultural message has convinced us all that we're all broken beyond repair. Lie!
You can be Dead in Sin
It is true if left to our own devices we are all doomed to struggle unsuccessfully against our sinful tendencies. That's because we have to realize before Christ, we are all born in sin. Paul writes in Ephesians 2:1 that before we become Christians, we are all "dead in [our] transgressions and sins." Of course, he does not mean that we are physically dead. Rather, the life of a person who has not experienced new life in Christ is characterized by spiritual death. This means that person is separated from God's salvation. But it also means that it is impossible for that person to produce spiritual fruit, to show signs of life. Imagine such a person as a dead branch broken from a tree in a storm. Where it lies on the ground, separated from its source of nourishment, it will never again produce tender buds or green leaves or sweet fruit.
Some theologians summarize it this way... Paul does not mean simply that they were in danger of death, but he declares that it was a real and present death under which they labored. As spiritual death is nothing else than the alienation of the soul from God, we are all born as dead men, and we live as dead men until we are made partakers of the life of Christ."
According to Romans 5, we are in this predicament because of the sin of the first human, Adam. Sin entered the world "through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people" (Rom. 5:12). Now the only way we can find liberation from sin is through death, for "anyone who has died has been set free from sin" (Rom. 6:7). As if that were not bad news enough, matters get worse. If we die physically without being reconciled to God through Christ, then we also die spiritually and spend eternity separated from him.
So there we are: because of the sin of Adam, we are that broken branch, separated from our source of life. And as a branch is helpless to change its circumstances, so are we. Humans are totally dependent upon God for life. Without his intervention, we will be forever dead in sin.
Therefore mortify the deeds of the body you live in. However...
Living Alive to Christ
Paul seems to prefer to use the more positive image and say that we are now "alive to God in Christ." And he insists that this transition from death to life has already taken place—really and truly—in the death and resurrection of Christ. It has happened in the spiritual realm, the "heaven's." And that means, of course, that we can't witness this change with our naked eyes. If I become a Christian on Tuesday, I may not feel all that different on Wednesday. It's true that some new believers are immediately and radically delivered from previous sins.
Paul knew very well that his readers were likely converts of the less dramatic sort. In fact, that's the point of his entire discussion in this section of Romans. After explaining the metaphysical realities of our association with Christ in his death and resurrection, Paul brings the point home. "In the same way," he writes, "count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 6:11). In other words, it's not enough simply to know that we are new creations; we have to embrace the concept, and that means changing our behavior.
At this point Paul gives two commands in the active voice: "do not let sin reign" in your bodies and "Do not offer any part of yourself to sin" (vs. 12-13). To keep on sinning would be inconsistent with your new character as one who is "dead to sin." It would be a bit like speaking in a phony accent. To be dead to sin means sin is alien to us. It's out of character.
What Paul is getting at here is that we have to take active steps in order to stop sinning. The power of sin is broken, which means that we can have success in our striving against sin. Our shackles have been unlocked. But we have to take the steps to leave the dungeon. In other words, all our struggles and weaknesses don't vanish when we become Christians. The life of faith will always involve temptation. It will also likely include falling short. But we can struggle to know that victory is secured in Christ.
Now Mortify the deed of the body
Give yourself a fight chance by His spirit, not your Carnal Mindset.
Paul uses the metaphor of clothing to describe the way Christians ought to think about their relationship to sin. He encourages them to "take off" the old nature (sin) and "put on" virtues appropriate for a new creation in Christ (Eph. 4:22-32; Col. 3:8-10). This is more easily said than done. Old habits die hard. If we want to let Christ reign in our lives through the Holy Spirit, then we have to make a concerted effort to abandon the behaviors that characterize being dead to sin.
Things don't just fall off, by mere magic spells. And they don't accomplish anything on their own. God uses them to do his work in us. The trouble is allowed and placed before God so that he can transform us." All this is to say that actively "putting off" our old, sinful behaviors and "putting on" the new behaviors characteristic of life in Christ help break our sin habits. Spiritual disciplines give the Holy Spirit a chance to produce spiritual fruit in our lives.
If you are a Christian who continues to struggle with sin you just can't shake, don't lose hope. Don't buy the world's message that sin is inevitable. Take heart from Paul's extraordinary claim: "you have been raised with Christ" (Col. 3:1)! As far as God is concerned, you are dead to sin, freed from its power. Like the prodigal son who finally looked up from the mud and slop of the pigsty to realize that he did not belong there, embrace your identity as a child of God made alive to Christ. And strive knowing God has already won the victory.
What does sin look like?
That’s what it means when it says “mortify the deeds of the body.” It means to make extinct, put to death or disallow the deeds prompted by the body; letting you know you have the right to decide what happens to your body. We will all give account to the Lord for whatever we allow in our body (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: New King James Version Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.