Summary: In order for the church to grow numerically and spiritually it must know how to handle offenses. The one offending may not know that they have offended. The one offending might need to know how to walk in the fruit of the Spirit.
02/21/16 How to Handle Offenses
Scripture: Matthew 18:15-22
Focus: How to handle offenses.
Point: If we do not handle our offenses correctly, we will destroy our church.
Illustration: When the doctor diagnoses you with cancer, you can respond in either of two ways: ignore it and let it take its course which ends in death; or treat it and have it removed. There are always side affects to the removal. You have to decide if you want to live or die. The same applies to offenses. Do you want to live or die spiritually and psychologically?
A continuation of a previous message on offenses.
I did not touch on one of the ways of how to handle offenses.
1. If your brother or sister sins against you … Go and tell Him or Her: Mat 18:15.
Sins and offenses
In a marriage, in the family, in the church, in the community, on the job
2. How do you handle offenses? Four steps:
Go to the one who has offended you and share your feelings.
Doesn’t work. Take with you two or three more
Doesn’t work. Tell it to the church.
Doesn’t work. Avoid him or her, but speak kindly to them.
3. How should the offending party respond? Matthew 18:15, 19-20.
Listen 18:15. If he hears, you will gain a brother, and it will open the way unto the Father, and He will listen to your prayers and be
in your midst 18:19-20. Don’t attempt to squeeze out an apology or a statement of repentance.
4. How should the one offended respond? Matthew 18:21-22.
Forgive 18:21. How many? 490! Emphasis on FORGIVENESS not REPENTANCE.
5. Your impact upon earth and in heaven: Matthew 18:18-20.
If you forgive, you might gain a brother or sister; releasing the flow of God’s grace into your heart and situation, empowering you to
overcome. The angels of God will be there to assist you in your relationships with others. Your relationship, fellowship, dialogue
with God will grow, taking you into greater things and higher levels of spiritual growth.
If you do not forgive, you prevent God from sharing Himself with you; and your spiritual and psychological growth and development
will deteriorate; and you will release Satan and the demonic to fill your soul and life. You will self-destruct and destroy others also.
Jesus said that offenses were inevitable. Offenses would come, but woe to the person they come through. Some offenses are verbally spoken. Others are related to an act of behavior. Many offenses occur without the offending party knowing that they have offended another party. There are many aspects related to “offenses,” such as, apology, forgiveness, going to the other person, listening, how many times to forgive, learning how not to offend, knowing what an offense is, sin, offenses blocking the flow of God’s grace, preventing God’s work from going forward, etc.
This passage from the lips of Jesus shows how to handle some offenses and the necessity of forgiveness on the part of the one who is offended. The emphasis is on the forgiveness of the one offended, not on the one offending.