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Scripture Reading: Matthew 18:4-9
Am I a Stumbling Block?
1. “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me…” (Matt. 16:23).
2. Offense (skandalon): A cause of sin; “a trap-stick (bent sapling), i.e. snare…--occasion to fall (of stumbling), offence, thing that offends, stumblingblock” (Strong’s).
3. “prop. the movable stick or tricker (‘trigger’) of a trap, trap-stick; a trap, snare” (Thayer, 577).
4. “any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall” (Thayer, 577).
a. Obstacle before a blind person, Lev. 19:14.
b. Jesus and the gospel (Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:8, 7; Isa. 8:14; 1 Cor. 1:23).
c. “metaph. any person or thing by which one is (‘entrapped’) drawn into error or sin” (Thayer), cf. Judg. 2:3, 11-13.
5. Stumbling block: Allurement, enticement or cause to sin, Matt. 18:6.
6. Who is a stumbling block? How can I be a stumbling block? How do I avoid being a stumbling block?
I. HOW I BECOME A STUMBLING BLOCK.
A. By Minding the Things of Men instead of God, Matt. 16:21-23.
1. Allowing our own emotions, motives, intentions to object to God’s revealed purposes.
2. Carnally minded become stumbling blocks, Rom. 8:6-8.
3. Spiritually minded avoid being stumbling blocks, Col. 3:1-2.
B. Through having a Lack of Love, 1 Jno. 2:10-11.
1. By definition, love is careful not to be a stumbling block.
2. Displayed by our words and deeds to each other, Col. 3:12-15.
C. By having an Overestimate of Oneself (Conceit), 1 Cor. 8:1-3.
1. Trust in one’s own knowledge, ability, etc. instead of Scripture.
2. Must love God more than self to prevent being stumbling block.
II. IDENTIFYING STUMBLING BLOCKS FROM THE SCRIPTURES.
A. Preventing People from Following Jesus is a Stumbling Block, Matt. 19:13-15; 3 Jno. 9-10.
B. A False Teacher is a Stumbling Block, Rom. 16:17.
1. Peter’s rebuke of Jesus, Matt. 16:22-23.
2. Exploit you with deceptive words, 2 Pet. 2:1-3.
C. An Ungodly Influence is a Stumbling Block, Eph. 5:5-7; 1 Cor. 15:33.
1. Good influences…good results; Unholy influences…enticements to sin.
2. Our influence edifies or lays a snare for others.
a. Influence of our values (cf. Moses, Heb. 11:24-26).
b. Influence of associations & conduct (cf. Solomon 1 Kgs. 11:4).
c. Influence of our words, cf. 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 4:3-4.
D. Misusing a Liberty is a Stumbling Block, 1 Cor. 8:9-13; 10:31-33.
1. Leading a weak conscience to violate itself is an offense (9).
2. Forego liberty to avoid being a stumbling block (13).
E. Judging One Another Concerning Liberties is a Stumbling Block, Rom. 14:13 (1-4).
-Respect each other’s conscience in liberties without becoming contemptuous or condemning.
F. Refusing to Forgive is a Stumbling Block, Lk. 17:1-5.
G. Binding Human Traditions (Opinions) is a Stumbling Block, Matt. 23:4. (Fault-finding rooted in human tradition, Mk. 7:1-3.)
H. Urging and Condoning Sinful Conduct is a Stumbling Block, Rev. 2:14.
III. THE SPIRITUAL DANGER OF BEING A STUMBLING BLOCK, Matt. 18:6-9.
A. The Presence of Stumbling Blocks in the World is Inevitable, Matt. 18:7.
B. Peril of being a Stumbling Block to Oneself & Others, Matt. 18:6.
C. Punishment for being a Stumbling Block, Matt. 18:6-7; 13:41-42.
D. How to Prevent being a Stumbling Block, Matt. 18:8-9.
1. Identify if you are causing (enticing) someone to sin (your sin): Is my thinking carnal? Do I lack love? Do I think too highly of myself?
2. Remove the offense (repentance).
3. Reconcile and heal.
1. No disciple of Jesus wants to be a stumbling block (cf. Peter).
2. When we are, we must be honest with ourselves and humbly repent, for our own salvation and for the spiritual well-being of others.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: June 5, 2018