Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Faith and Offenses

Faith and Offenses
Rom 14:21  It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
Rom 14:22  Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
Rom 14:23  And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
Whatever is not of faith is sin to you. If you are not sure about doing something, then don't do it. If God tells you to do something and you do not have faith to do it, it is also sin to you. We are to walk in the Spirit and do what is pleasing to God.
James 4:17  Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
What if we offend in what we do or do not do? Jesus said it was a serious thing to offend one of his little ones.
Mark 9:41  For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
Mark 9:42  And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
We are to bless and not offend. But it is impossible not to offend someone.
James 3:1  My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
James 3:2  For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
So, do not seek to be a teacher or shepherd or room leader, for you are responsible when someone is offended, and if you are wrong, you will be judged greater. We are to do all things by faith, yet even if we walk by faith, we still may offend someone; we cannot please everyone.
Jesus offended some too. Let's see how this was so.
Mat 15:7  Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
Mat 15:8  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Mat 15:9  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Mat 15:10  And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
Mat 15:11  Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
Mat 15:12  Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
Jesus offended the Jewish religious leaders, by telling them the truth and correcting them. Remember that leaders have the greater responsibility, so Jesus was more concerned about their actions and spoke more harshly to them who were teaching error.
Mat 15:13  But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
Mat 15:14  Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
 A leader must speak out against false teaching and if they will not hear, let them go.
Mat 11:2  Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
Mat 11:3  And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
Mat 11:4  Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see:
Mat 11:5  The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
Mat 11:6  And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
How can we be offended by Jesus? He is life to us. He gives us the Holy Spirit and all the fruit of the Spirit. Yet, some get offended, they think following him is too hard.
Mat 13:20  But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
Mat 13:21  Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
He is offended because he is not rooted and grounded in the word of God. He has a stony heart, unable to let go of past hurts or sins. When he tries to live for Jesus and is persecuted, he or she says it is too hard. I cannot be a Christian. Even Peter was offended in Christ, because he had not yet received the power of the Holy Spirit.
Luke 22:31  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
Luke 22:32  But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Luke 22:33  And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
Luke 22:34  And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth. We need Spiritual discernment. We are not to offend the weak, we are to love them, answer their questions and try not to do things that may offend them. We are to walk in the Holy Spirit; we are to walk in faith. We should do what is of faith; this way we do not sin.
Mat 5:23  Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
Mat 5:24  Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Prayer will bring things to your mind. People to pray for and if any offenses, they should be brought to view in prayer. Offenses can cause our prayers to not be answered.
1 Pet 3:6  Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
1 Pet 3:7  Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Husband and wife are to honor one another, no unforgiven offenses so that your prayers be not hindered. But, what if we do what is of faith and someone is offended? The Bible gives us directions on what to do if offended.
Mat 18:15  Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
The first thing to do is to go to the brother, not someone else to complain to them. This is how gossip is started. Someone feels offended and begins to paint an evil picture of the person who offended them. You are to go to the one who has offended you and explain to the person why you were offended. A word of wisdom is to show the person in the Bible the offense committed. Too often people get their flesh feelings hurt and it is nothing more than hurt pride. Remember that as a child of God your flesh person is dead on the cross with Jesus and buried. Do not let the dead flesh control your thoughts. We are to be walking in newness of life, in the New Life in the Holy Spirit.
Mat 18:16  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
If the offense is a Biblically proven offense and you have gone to the person and they refuse to hear you, then go to step two. Take one or two witnesses, so the thing may be established. One recent example was of a local pastor who had gotten into pornography on the Internet. He had been molesting young boys in the church. This was discovered. Witnesses had to confront him.

Mat 18:17  And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.
He denied any wrong doing to the church. He was taken to court and many witnesses testified of his sin; he finally admitted to the sin and now is in prison. This type of offense should be confronted. Offenses of our hurt feelings are best taken to Jesus in prayer.
If someone sins against you, rebuke him personally and seek restoration and forgiveness.
Luke 17:3  Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
Luke 17:4  And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

We all fail at times and we should forgive one another.
Some sins are against God's law and against man's laws; they must answer to the law.  Grace does not always keep you from the results of a transgression. Obey God, Love God and others as yourself. Forgive but know that blessings come from obedience to God's commands. If we break commands our soul remains saved if a Christian, but often we must pay for the result of our disobedience.
1 Cor 5:5  To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Gal 6:7  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Gal 6:8  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Gal 6:9  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Gal 6:10  As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

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