November 14, 2021

Offenses and Forgiveness

Passage: Luke 17:1-10
Service Type:


  • We honour those who fight for us but we recognise that war is a gross evil
    • War is a terrible thing - many lose their lives, many are maimed or orphaned, many suffer terribly
  • Jesus says it is impossible that no offenses should come
    • There will also be evil
    • There will be division of relationships
  • Humanity is deeply flawed by sin
    • There will be wars and rumours of wars
    • Romans 1 - God's wrath is poured out against the world
  • Jesus is speaking to His disciples
    • Take heed to your own lives
    • Make sure you do not give offense to others
    • Make sure you do not hurt or damage people
    • Woe to those who do
  • Luke 12 - Jesus warned the disciples to beware of false teachers
    • Now He is warning them about themselves
    • He is advising forgiveness and restoration
    • Keep asking for forgiveness (v8)
  • Overview:
    • Avoiding Offending
    • Rebuke Offenders
    • Forgiveness

Avoiding Offending

  • Offenses are towards other people but first and foremost towards God
    • Examples
    • We are to love God first and love another sincerely from the heart
    • Sin is a transgression of His laws and rebellion from the heart
    • Sin causes consequences
  • Do not offend the 'little ones'
    • Could mean children
    • More likely to mean new believers and converts (Matt 18)
    • It is a terrible thing to lead someone astray and cause someone to sin
    • Examples
    • Do we encourage others to sin?
  • How do we avoid offending?
    • Matt 18 / Mark 9
      • Live in the fear of God
      • Be serious about your own sin
      • Titus 2:12
      • Sin leads to hell - for your own sake (and God's honour) - do not live in sin
    • Take heed to ourselves
      • Jesus is giving an example of the importance of avoiding hell
      • Jesus loved sinners and called them to Himself
      • Jesus was earnest and serious
    • As Christians we know the transforming power of the Holy Spirit
      • Not to give way to the old nature
      • Put on Christ and put off the old man

Rebuke Offenders

  • Do not rebuke over minor issues but forgive
    • Love covers over a multitude of sins
    • We all fail
  • When there are major issues
    • Matt 5:23-24
    • Matt 18
      • Go to the offender alone - do not speak to others first
      • Go with the spirit of desiring change
      • Check there is no 'beam' in your own eye first
  • Do we do this?
    • We find it hard
    • We stay away from the person who has hurt us
    • We leave the situation
    • We are afraid
  • Often when we go there is reconciliation
    • Matt 18 - take two with you to hear the testimony
    • Matt 18 - if this fails, bring it to the whole church
    • Matt 18 - if they will not repent, treat them as though they need to be converted
  • We should not leave things


  • Do you accept apologies?
    • Do you want more?
    • Do you want payback?
  • Seven sins in one day - surely this can't be genuine forgiveness
    • Jesus says to accept it
    • How many times does God forgive us in one day?
      • He is such a gracious and merciful God
    • As God forgives us in Jesus Christ, ought we not to forgive others?
    • If God has forgiven all our sin, how can we not forgive others?
  • What does forgiveness mean?
    • It means it is over
    • It means not holding anything against them
    • It means you love them
    • It means not bring the situation up again
    • Saying 'it is done with' / 'let's move on'
        • God's forgiveness
        • He does not remember our sin (by conscious decision)
      • The devil often seeks to stir things up - we must pray and ask God for help
    • It means a new start
    • It means building new trust
      • Not to churn up
      • Not to wish harm or vengeance
      • To pray for those who persecute us
    • We do not sweep things under the carpet but we have the attitude of Jesus Christ
  • Should we only forgive those who are repent? (v3-4)
    • If they repent - forgive them
    • Does God forgive unrepentant sinners?
      • No, they are still under the judgment of God
      • But Christ prayed for the unrepentant on the cross
      • Stephen prayed for his unrepentant persecutors as he was dying
    • We must pray for a forgiving heart
    • Reading the book 'What is so amazing about grace?'
      • The authors contention is that grace is needed for healing the 'ungrace' in world
      • Only in forgiveness and repentance
      • Grace is about showing love and mercy to others

Closing Remarks