It was through the “Tree of Life” that God taught Adam concerning eternity; and through the “Tree of Knowledge” He taught him His holiness. Knowledge and understanding is best taught through contrast and in this case, one tree for life and the other for death--both represent the contrast of good and evil (Gen 3:22). It would not be presumptuous to conclude that God allowed Adam’s sin nature to remain for his good; to learn of God’s holiness by learning of his own decadent nature.
Scripture teaches that the believer is free from the guilt of sin but nowhere is it said that the source of sin, “old man”, has been removed. This is why Paul wrote that he, not was, but is (continually) “crucified with Christ” (Gal 2:20). It is the “old man” or Adamic nature that, not was, but “is crucified” (Rom 6:6).
If sin’s source were removed from the believer, sin itself would no longer be an issue and the believer would no longer require scriptural admonitions to continue to choose between righteousness and unrighteousness. Being made aware of the continuing presence of “the old man”, as evidenced by Romans seven, will better equip the believer to understand that we “yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness” by not yielding “your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity” (Rom 6:19). If we do not know to put off (disengage) “the old man” which is present, we cannot put on (engage) the “new man”, which is also present (Eph 4:22, 24; Col 3:9, 10).
The presence and influence of these members are confirmed and identified in Colossians 3:5 which writes, “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth (still present); fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Though we walk with them, we do not live by them. “In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them” (v 7).
How do we avoid yielding to, and allow the putting off of the Adamic nature? You probably know; by mortifying “the deeds of the body” which is done only “through the Spirit” (Rom 8:13). Notice this does not address “the body” but “the deeds” of it. Through the Spirit, the Adamic nature and its “deeds” are subdued or mortified, but not eradicated; just as the one undergoing crucifixion was bound but not immediately killed. This is a direct analogy to the lingering existence of our Adamic nature, which we are easily distracted from by “the pride of life”.
The height of God’s holiness can be more clearly seen by the Light which shines bright on the depths of our Adamic nature.