I dare to say that Adam was in the Garden of Eden for a long time before Eve was tempted. And during that whole time, he did not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil once. I imagine he didn’t even touch it. Perhaps he didn’t even notice it. Why? Because he could freely eat of all of the other trees. He was under grace. Grace taught him to live soberly, righteously, and godly. It taught him to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. It resulted in wilful obedience. And it ensured that sin did not have dominion, power, and control over him.
Genesis 3:1 NKJV
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
But then came the serpent. And he came with law… Look at the serpent’s emphasis: You shall not! He tried to twist God’s words from words of grace to words of law. What was the result? Adam and Eve ate. They sinned. They disobeyed. They were put under the law and suddenly sin had dominion, power and control over them.