Offenses Will Come (Matthew 5:21-26)Simon Schrock, June 29, 2014
Part of the Sermon On The Mount series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
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Reconciliation is an ongoing need. In our relationships we face it time and time again. Reconciliation builds and strengthens our relationship as we are humble and honest with meekness towards each other. This happens, not just in the home, but whoever our lives touch wherever, and also those that we're touched by; anyone from our ministers, to the clerk at the gas station, to a grouchy neighbor lady.
Matthew 5:21-26 - Here Jesus gives scenarios of angry people. The first one is the angry brother, the second one is the brother that the anger is directed to, and the third one is the adversary (unbeliever). Our lives touch each of these areas in a real way, so what examples and testimonies are we leaving?
What are the issues among Christian people at large? There are two things that need to be brought out. 1) Reconciliation within our families, spouses, children, in-laws. 2) Reconciliation in the church body, ministry, each other as members or nonmembers.
The phrase "being angry without a cause" is an ongoing discussion about who inserted that and why they did. Being angry at a non-moral, non-essential situation, such as getting wet at the table when a child accidentally spills water, is no reason to get a bit angry at all.
The word "ought" means "anything, something". It means just what it says. It refers to an offense. Anger is listed with the sins of emotion and passion. which relate to the sins of the flesh.
Anger is an emotion that was given to us by God for His glory. Anger needs to be controlled by the Spirit of God! It is wrong to use it for self-gratification and selfishness. It is much better to reconcile with our brothers and sisters as it clears up any offenses that have gone both ways. God commands it to be so. Anger can keep us from being too passive, if it is controlled by the Spirit of Christ. Anger should never lead to hate, as it can lead to hell.
Being reconciled quickly is paramount to maintaining and growing relationships! Especially when it comes to children and also to each other. Being kind, tenderhearted, etc, to each other is the Kingdom of Christ. Jesus said that murdering someone has the same consequences or the same potential as becoming angry. We need to be walking in the light, filled with grace.
What does it mean to be reconciled? Without the Law, no guilt gives us reason to reconcile. When offenses happen, it usually goes both ways. God does not need to repent of anything; it is we that need to reconcile our offenses.
When a Jewish man was bringing his gift to the altar, and he remembered an offense, then he was to go and make it right before that gift got put on the altar. That is the way of Christ!
What does the work "offense" as used in Scripture mean? Some translations would say "stumble". The Greek work has to do with "scandal" and according to Vines translation it means "the part of the trap where the bait is attached". It involves anything that causes someone to fall by the wayside.
Jesus forgave or offenses, so we in turn need to be willing to face up to the offenses and be reconciled, forgiving each other as Christ has forgiven us. The only way to completely be reconciled is to truly love each other more than ourselves and our reputation. We need to love as Christ did, even to his naive disciples.
In this day and age, one of the most important places for reconciliation to start is in the home with the family. Disciplining a child when he is young teaches him to be able to discern right from wrong as he grows into adulthood and beyond. It also helps him to develop the concept of sin and guilt, along with the eternal perspectives.
A mistake parents make at times in disciplining is doing it for their own comfort. Disciplining needs to be for the child's good and his eternal destiny, A child needs to be released from his guilt. He needs to be reconciled back to his siblings, parents, and someday to God. That is the way a child will learn right from wrong. The key in disciplining is to have LOVE for that child. It makes a big difference on their view of God.
Things to avoid as parents are inconsistencies, misplaced priorities, lack of integrity and honesty, emotional and verbal abuse, physical and sexual abuse, and more. Christian parents NEED to be FREE from all these things, because any one of these things will affect the character of a child, whether we like it or not. They'll grow up to be like us, and we have opportunities to shape them for eternity with Christ!
We as Christian parents need to teach our children how to deal with the offenses that come in life. We need to show and lead by example. Parents who don't teach and lead their children in dealing with offenses will have a huge negative ripple effect that will continue through several generations unless it is resolved quickly. It is vitally important to have ongoing reconciliation with our children, recognizing that we are human just as they are, and that we as parents make mistakes and can cause problems. Children are to obey and honor their parents no matter what, unless it violates God's order.
Whether in church, at home, or abroad, we need to have the proper attitude of reconciliation and be making peace with all men regardless of any boundaries. Having guilt should motivate us to find freedom from it; that's the purpose of the law. In order for relationships to be restored, proper reconciliation on both sides needs to take place so that guilt can be removed. Peace is a top priority! We can't wait for the other person to come to us to make things right; we are responsible to go and make it right with the right motives and attitudes.
Any hurts that have affected us, real or imagined, need to be laid at Jesus' feet and not thrown at the other individual. We tend to judge ourselves by our intentions and judge everyone else by their actions. Let's leave a GODLY example to our surrounding communities on how pure reconciliation really looks like. The example of Joseph with his brothers is a prime example of reconciliation. Take the story to heart and apply it to your daily life.