Summary: Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come.

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Dakota Community Church

April 26, 2009

Better a Millstone

Luke 17:1-10

Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves.

"If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ’I repent,’ forgive him."

The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"

He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ’Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

"Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ’Come along now and sit down to eat’? Would he not rather say, ’Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ’We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ "

It never ceases to amaze me how much Jesus can say in just a few words.

What a communicator! No wonder Peter said, “Where will we go? You have the words of life.”

I want to break this little passage down into three sections:

A.) Sin happens

Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come…

First of all I want us to think about things that cause people to sin.

Jesus said that these things were going to happen – AND THEY ARE!

I promise you, though I do not typically move in the prophetic gifts, I promise you that an opportunity to sin is going to come your way in the very near future.

Somebody is out there right now, planning to do something, which is going to give you a horrible “cause” to sin.

Right this minute a sweet little old lady is skipping church somewhere this morning in order to clip coupons out of the flyer so that she can arrive at the checkout counter a split second before me on my way home today from this wonderful meeting and thus she will take a ridiculous amount of time out of my too hurried schedule in order to save $2.57 thereby tempting me to explode in an embarrassingly sinful display of non-pastoral anger that will see me plagued with guilt for the rest of the day not to mention the additional consequences if Kathy happens to witness the whole sordid affair.

i. Can you name anything that happens that “causes” you to sin?

I think that this is a tough question because we all know deep down that we are ultimately responsible for our own sinning.

Things do come however that help the process – don’t they.

Do slow witted Winnipeg drivers help cause you to give in to road rage?

How many young men are helped to discover the pleasures of sin by the pornographers?

How many self-righteous pietists “cause” others to think they are doing God a service in their sins of judgment and gossip?

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