Summary: Identify what an offense is, and how to overcome the offense once it comes.
Breaking Free from the Fence of Offence
Foundational Text: Act 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
(AMP) Therefore I always exercise and discipline myself [mortifying my body, deadening my carnal affections, bodily appetites, and worldly desires, endeavoring in all respects] to have a clear (unshaken, blameless) conscience, void of offense toward God and toward men.
Pro 19:11 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
Amp. Good sense makes a man restrain his anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression or an offense.
I can remember when I was a little boy going to the circus and seeing many wondrous things that my little eyes soaked up like a sponge. One of the things, that even as a little boy, I could not understand is how they kept those massive elephants tied to a little pole in the ground. Have you seen this? Later in life I found that these massive elephants were trained as mere babes by that pole. When they were young and weak, by their adult standards, the trainers would tie them around their ankle to that pole. As a youngster, that could not break free. Even after reaching adulthood, they still believed that could not break free, thus never trying to break free.
There are many things as a baby Christian that mirror this story. One of which is the topic of our study today, and that is dealing with offenses.
This morning I want to share with you from a pastor’s heart concerning a very deadly device that the devil uses to divide and conquer even the best of Christians. This is simply the tool of offence. I have witnessed it tear a part churches, businesses, marriages, and the best of relationships. Before you would be tempted to shut down on this message before it even gets off the ground, so to speak, let me assure you that no one is exempt from offences. We will each have to deal with offences as long as we are on this earth. So I hope to expose what an offense is, who they come to, how they come, and what to do with them once they come. We must understand that we have been given the ability in our spiritual growth, much like that adult elephant, to break free of the offenses that have bound us for too long. Let us first define just exactly what an offence is.
I. What is an offence?
A. First Jesus said that it’s coming?
Matthew 18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
1. As long as there is a devil, there will be offences.
B. Offence defined
1. skandalizō skan-dal-id’-zo To “scandalize”; from G4625; to entrap, that is, trip up (figuratively stumble [transitively] or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure): - (make to) offend.
a trap, stumbling block. To cause to stumble and fall, not found in Gr. writers. In the NT, figuratively to be a stumbling block to someone, to cause to stumble at or in something, to give a cause of offense to someone.