In the beginning, our ancestors were deceived, not by being told what they believed were wrong, but by being led to question everything. The law they were given was this: Be fruitful and multiply, rule and subdue the earth, eat the fruit of any tree save one. Satan didn’t start by talking about THAT tree, he began by talking about every other one. “Is it true that you shall not eat of ANY tree?” He got them off the subject, and forced them to talk about what was forbidden. Eve responded “ “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” He got Eve to admit she had been thinking about what she was forbidden to eat (God never said don’t touch it, He said don’t eat of it!), and then He got her to question and disobey the command she had been given.
Do you see why it’s important to stay focused on all the right issues? Christians, we get side-tracked by minutia and things that are not important. We get side-tracked by hunger, thirst, poverty, illnesses, war, and other causes (worthy causes, but not the main issue). The Issue that fixes every single one is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we love Christ, we will do these things, but if we’re only focused on these issues, we’re sending people to hell while meeting their earthly needs. Feeding people, giving them water, clothing, and medicine, should be vehicles for the Gospel, because everyone can have all of their earthy needs met tomorrow, get everything they want, and be just as condemned by their own sins without the Gospel. Don’t let the enemy side track you from listening to the voice of God. Be grounded in the word, focus on making God’s name great and proclaim the Gospel.
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.