Are you in the right spirit with God if ...• You come here with a smile, waving at everybody until you see the person that offended you earlier walks in... • It should not be. It will deﬁnitely hinder your spiritual life in many ways. • In Luke 17: 1-2 and Matthew 18: 6-7, Christ pronounces woes on those who would dare to offend others; especially children and immature young Christians. We the adults, in a spiritual view, are called the “little ones”, too. God takes this matter of offending others very seriously.
Offending? In what ways can a person be spiritually offended?• Person of weaker faith• Person who offended could be careless, thoughtless, insensitive, calloused, self-righteous, and even rude.• Exposed by the truth (Gal. 4: 16) For example, rebuking.
Spiritual Concern• As believers, we often experience discouragement in our Christian walk. A common cause of this discouragement is conﬂict between believers, which Paul addresses in Romans 15.
Read Matthew 18: 15-17• 15 More if your brother shall trespass [sins] against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone: if he shall hear you, you have gained your brother.• 16 But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.• 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 you as a heathen man and a tax collector.
Five reasons to confront those who have trespassed against us • To resolve misunderstandings • To maintain peace in the body of Christ • So Satan cannot gain advantage over us • So the offender is held accountable • To restore a fallen brother
To resolve misunderstandings ...• Most offenses in the church result from misunderstandings.• Do Matthew 18: 15 as Jesus instructed us to do: go directly to the offending party.• Believe in forgiveness. It is important to God and YOU! Remember the Lord’s Prayer: you are forgiven by God the Father, therefore, you must forgive others.
To maintain peace in the body of Christ ...• Should there be friction and turmoil among the believers, then it affects the whole body. (Eph. 4: 1-3)• It will hinder people from entering into worship and receiving from God’s Word.• It may hinder people from coming to Christ and can even grieve the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 4: 30-32)
So Satan cannot gain advantage over us ...• For our spiritual well-being, we must be quick to resolve our differences with brethen and forgive. (2 Cor. 2: 10-11)• Satan can hinder our spiritual life thru harbored bitterness or unforgiveness (Matt. 18: 35) • Holding a grudge for a long time
So that the offender is held accountable ...• To not repeat his actions to harm the faith of others (Matt. 18: 6)• Persons who bring offense against you are likely to repeat similar acts against others.• Confronting their behavior may cause them to restrain their actions from causing further offenses.
To restore a fallen brother ...• Christians must take every attempt to restore brethen who fall into sin. (Gal. 6:1)• Despite the transgression made against us, our love for our brother’s spiritual well-being demands that we confront the brother so that he might be reconciled to God.
How can we avoid offending and being offended? • Matt. 18: 1-10. Jesus instruct us to cut off our hand or pluck out our eye before we allow these members of our body to offend others. [Sin do not come from the hands or the eyes; but from the heart.] • Be considerate of our spiritually weaker brothers/sisters who are sometimes offended by the freedom that we demonstrate in Christ. 1 Cor. 10: 24-33
Avoiding offending and being offended (Continued)• Proverbs 18: 19 “A brother offended is harder to be won [back] than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.”• Psalm 119: 165 “Great peace have they who love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” • What doe this verse mean? It means that the study of God’s Word will secure peace. You take Christians who are rooted and grounded in the Word of God, and you ﬁnd they have great peace.
(Continued)• How amazing to see how little it takes to drive all peace and comfort from some people. If we have peace of God, the world cannot take that from us.• It is these people who never open the Bibles, these people who never study the Scriptures, who become offended, and are wondering why they are having such a hard time. They are the persons who tell you that Christianity is not what it has been recommended to them; that they have found it was not all that we claim it to be. The real trouble is, they have not done as the Lord has told them to do.
Only if all believers would simply obey scripture (Matt. 18: 15-17) ...• It would solve over half of all problems which exist in the church.• First, go to your brother privately to resolve the difference. A very important step before the unnecessary strife spills over to the others.
Forgiveness• If you could forgive, or be forgiven, the burden would be off your back.You will feel a lot better. It is true. The world deﬁnitely need love.• We don’t want to see our church dimming in the dark, but rather that our light thru Christ shine brightly! (like the weld light)
We need to read God’s Word [Bible] and pray daily prayers.• Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the mediations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”• Psalm 139: 23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts and see if there by any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Verse example of love• 1 Corinthians 13: 4 • Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; (KJV) • Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”• Matthew 5: 9