Part 1: What is Offence?
To overcome offence, one first has to determine what offence is. This is important because offence is the number one killer of Christian life in the Church today. Offence is like a cancer, it can attack you at any time. If it is caught early enough it can be treated but if left too long it is fatal. Thanks be to God that there are precautionary measures that can be taken to reduce the risk factor but first we need to discover what this killer is and how it really works.
Matthew 24:1-13 (MKJV)
Matthew 24:10 (MKJV) And then many will be offended, and will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Offended G4624 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.
(BBE) And numbers of people will be turned from the right way, and will give one another up and have hate for one another.
(CEV) Many will give up and will betray and hate each other.
(CJB) At that time many will be trapped into betraying and hating each other,
(GNB) Many will give up their faith at that time; they will betray one another and hate one another.
(GW) Then many will lose faith. They will betray and hate each other.
(NASB) “At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.
(WNT) Then WILL MANY STUMBLE AND FALL, and they will betray one another and hate one another.
So then, when we are offended we have”Turned from the right way”, “Given up”, “Become trapped”, “Given up our faith”, “Lost our faith”, “Fallen away” and “Stumbled and fallen”. When in offence we find ourselves on the low road of life called “self” instead on the high road in life called “In Christ”.
So what is it that offends us, let’s look at Romans 9:30-33
What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, just as it is written, “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”
Christ is the “Rock of Offence” or more specifically the “Grace of God” that is found in Christ Jesus is the rock of offence. Grace through faith is the high road of life in Christ, whereas works is what I can do and what I can accomplish and is the low road of life in self. Christ Jesus is either the Rock of Salvation or the Rock of Offence.
The last time someone treated you unkindly, did you react in offence or did you pause and take the high road? Did you see them as an unkind person or did you see them as someone in whom you are one with in the Christ? You see, the grace of God empowers us to see others through the eyes of God and helps us realize that all are His children (Ephesians 4:6) and right now that individual might not recognise the Christ in him but we know that He is in there!
Read 1Peter 2: 1-8 for yourself and see what the Holy Spirit speaks to you in regards to this teaching.
Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,” and, “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
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