This week, Pastor Dennis brought a word about how we as Jesus followers should live and deal with offense. He defined offense as resentment or annoyance as a result of a perceived insult. The Bible teaches how offense corrupts. Dennis shared how the gospel will be offensive to those who don’t receive it and how our primary concern should be to walk as Jesus walked. Dennis sought to answer what Jesus was offended by, what we have the right to be offended by, and how we ought to walk out living unoffended.
“Let no corrupting talks come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
“Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.”
“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”
Three questions for followers of Jesus to ask:
- What did Jesus take offense to?
- The desecration of the Temple (John 2:13-17)– Jesus was offended with how the Jews used the temple of God for business, selling animals, and exchanging money for animal sacrifices. The Temple was not being used for worship, prayer, and sacrifices. Jesus said, “do not make my Father’s house a house of trade”.
- The hypocrisy of religious leaders (Matthew 2:30) – Jesus took offense to the hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees who claimed they were followers of God but did not live for Him indeed. They would tell others what God’s Word said while doing the exact opposite.
- he failure to offer grace and mercy (John 8) – Jesus did not take offense to the sin of the adulterous woman, but he was offended by how the religious leaders failed to offer grace and mercy to her. He forgave the woman of her sins, but also told her to “go and sin no more”.
- What do we as Christians have the right to take offense to?
- Take offense to the issues Jesus did, primarily sin. When Jesus came to earth it was to redeem man from sin, not to set the Jews free from the Roman government. The government wasn’t the problem with man, it was man’s sin against God. Are we more concerned about the government than the Great Commission?
- Seek Jesus’ heart when others are being mistreated, but don’t get offended. It should bother us when we see people’s lives being mistreated. What should our response be? We ought to seek the Lord on what to do rather than complain. Our job is to fulfill the Great Commission, to share the gospel, and to make disciples.
- We cannot be offended when we are treated falsely because of the Gospel. Matthew 5:11-12 says we are blessed when others revile, persecute and utter all kinds of evil against us falsely on God’s account. Even more, we are to count it as joy!
- How do we walk this out as a follower of Jesus?
- Do not respond destructively. Ephesians 4:29 says “ Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Think of how a gentle response can disarm offense.
- Look to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-5 says it is our responsibility to live and act as Jesus did, living in humility and counting others as more significant than ourselves.
- Meditate on the marks of a True Christian.Romans 12: 9-21 offers some of the most powerful Words in Scripture for how Christians ought to live. We are to follow in the example of Jesus who responded with blessing and honor.
- What was Jesus offended by? How do these areas compare with areas you are easily offended by?
- What is your default response when you’re offended? How does the Bible call us to respond?
- What role does the Bible say our speech plays when we are confronted with offensive situations?
- Why do you think God tells us to count it joy when we are reviled and persecuted falsely on God’s account? How can we keep ourselves from offense in these situations?
- This week, allow the Lord to search your heart and to expose any offense in you. The next step is to humbly confess it as sin and receive His forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
- Meditate over Romans 12:9-21 this week. Note any marks that are not alive in your life and ask the Holy Spirit to ignite them in you.