Anthanasius, in On the Incarnation:
“But since the will of man could turn either way, God secured this grace that He had given by making it conditional from the first upon two things – namely a law and a place. He sat them in His own paradise, and laid upon them a single prohibition. If they guarded the grace and retained the loveliness of their origional innocence, then the life of paradise should be theirs without sorrow, pain or care, and after it the assurance of immortality in heaven. But if they went astray and became vile, throwing away their birthright of beauty, then they would come under the natural law of death and live no longer in paradise, but dying outside of it, continue in death and corruption. This is what holy scripture tells us, proclaiming the command of God, ‘Of every tree in the Garden thou shalt surely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil ye shall not eat, but in that day that ye do eat, thou shalt surely die.’ [Gen. 2:16f] ‘Ye shall surely die…’ – not just die only, but remain in a state of death and corruption.”
Was the plan all along that man and woman would eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and learn what it means to face the consequences of one’s actions – thus being truly able to choose competently between one thing and another? Was this all a part of learning what it meant to be made in the very image of God, who can create freely and choose freely? Or, did we truly thwart God’s will for us as His creation, defying His good will and His command?