The Certainty Of Christ’s Practical Teachings
Book of Luke Chapter 17
God’s authority over mankind is moral and this is known by anyone who possesses intelligence.
God’s authority over mankind focuses on mankind having the intellect to understand the truth.
God gave us all a mind capable of understanding the sensibility to appreciate the effect of truth on happiness and the conscience to judge right over wrong and good over evil.
Of all God’s creation, He gave mankind the ability to choose. He gave mankind a chance to take voluntary action in their eternal life.
The rest of God’s creation follows set rules. For instance God does not change the orbit of a planet just because it wants to go in a different direction.
If mankind has the opportunity to choose then mankind realizes there are penalties for making wrong choices.
God gave mankind the ability to resist temptation and persuasion!
Sin is then nothing but an act of free will committed against one’s conviction of what is right!
Sin therefore is inexcusable!
In this passage God will teach us four practical laws that could revolutionize all societies.
1) Leading another person into sin will bring the judgment of God.
2) Forgiving others of their sin against you is essential.
3) Faith is the most powerful force in this world if that faith is in the God of the Bible.
4) To obey God is a duty and not an act of servitude.
A sure sign of the great sin in our day shows us the decay of the Church. The Church has grown cold so today we see a time of abounding offenses.
Offenses are the worldliness and selfishness of those who profess to be godly but are not. No doubt we can see a world full of such people today.
2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
The word practical means that the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ can be put to use in our lives daily and we will be better because of them.
*****Luk 17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that Offenses will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
There are many today that say when we sin it is entirely our own fault and we will be held accountable for our own sin. Much of this is true and ultimately we are held responsible for our own sin. There is another lesson that Jesus taught as He was enroute to the cross.
The truth is we are held responsible if we cause another person to sin and especially if that person never recovers and and never seeks the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness.
In this text an offence is when we ourselves have become a stumbling-block in the path of some other lost soul!
The truth is there will always be some who stumble over some things that we have led them to.
We must always remeber that every soul is precious to the Lord!
The world is already full of stumbling-blocks, we do not to become one ourselves!
The truth is people are always placing stumbling-blocks in each other’s way and especially before our children.
We must never forget one important thing, we will all face God one day!
Rom 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Rom 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Rom 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
Now if we have faith in the “doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ we have been forgiven of all sin but we will still be held accountable for what we do after we are saved. This does not mean we can lose our salvation but it does mean that God will certainly hold us accountable and this sermon by the Lord Jesus Christ teaches us this truth.
What does God say?
Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and Offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
God is serious about these things.
*****Luk 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
When we become a stumbling-block by leading another person into sin it can bring heavy judgment!
We should remember Jesus is speaking to His disciples and not to some crowd that had gathered.
We should clearly understand this message of Jesus.
People are not good by nature and occasionally sin, People Are Sinners who occasionally do good!
AND, Jesus said it is impossible that we will not sin.
No matter how wonderful we make ourselves out to be, we are just sinners saved by the “Grace” of God through “Faith”!
Sin enters the world, our places of business, our places of enjoyment, the places we shop, our places of worship and into our homes and we must accept that this is true and it is impossible for this not to be true!
No place on this earth can ever escape sin because there are no perfect people on this earth though there are those who think they are perfect.
Committing sin is already a terrible thing that is in our nature but when we choose to involve others in our sin or lead someone else into a place of sin it is even more terrible!
1) This is done when we grumble and complain and criticize the things of the Church.
2) This is done when we take sides, one brother against another brother and not settle our differences according to the Word of God.
3) This is done when we become worldly and materialistic.
4) This is done when we become conceited and prideful.
5) This is done when we become loose and immoral.
6) This is done when we curse and talk filthy.
7) This is done when we deviate from the truth of the “Doctrine of Jesus Christ”.
Jesus said it would be better if we just died than to become a stumbling block to even one soul!
1Jn 2:10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
1Jn 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
A millstone is not just some small stone that you could wear as a necklace but a stone used in grinding out meal.
No one could survive such a millstone when cast into the sea.
That person would be held to the bottom of that sea until they died.
In other words when we lead others astray of the teachings of Jesus Christ in any way, we have committed the most awful of sins!
And Jesus moves on to another crime we commit on a regular basis, that of being unforgiving.
*****Luk 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
We must realize that forgiving others is essential to our own salvation.
There must never be a sense of unforgivingness among God’s people.
There are many in our world that consider the doors of the church closed to them because they feel they can never be forgiven by God’s people.
This terrible for them but it is sinful for us that know the Lord.
All those that trespass against us are those who go against the Word of God in which we are to stand!
The word “rebuke” is very important in this Scripture.
We are to confront those who go against the Word of God but we are also to lovingly do what we can to correct them in that sin against God and against the Church, the people of God.
That correction must be done in love and compassion and not in a censoring and judgmental spirit.
Pro 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Pro 9:9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
Pro 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
This never means that we are to condone any sin.
This never means we are to be weak in understanding the Word of God.
This only means that we must respond to being mistreated by being loving and compassionate.
BUT, to allow sin to continue is to indulge in that sin by giving that person a license to continue in their sin which goes against the Word of God.
Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Eph 5:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
Eph 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
Eph 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
We must always use the Word of God as our guideline!
2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
It is easy to say, “well I’m not a preacher” but God says we all are.
It’s also easy to say, well they just do the same old sin over and over again and this is getting old but God says that makes no difference to Him because we were all the same before we understood the salvation plan of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
What did Jesus teach?
Luk 17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
The command to forgive is a strong command from the Lord.
To be forgiving is in fact a beautiful picture of God’s unlimited forgiveness for all His children.
Our greatest tool in witnessing for the Lord is how the lost world sees us. Our lifestyle is the greatest part of our witness for God!
BUT, we are never to take advantage of God’s forgiveness!
Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
The disciples that were with Jesus that day knew that they lacked in the one thing that would make all these other things possible.
*****Luk 17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
We should immediately see that “faith” can be increased.
In fact we should all desire for God to increase our faith and even more as we approach these end times, if we are not already there in those end times.
The truth is, an increase in “faith” connects us to an increase in a holy lifestyle.
This being true then an increase in “faith” leads to an increase in peace and comfort.
And the result God is looking for is that an increase in “faith” leads to an increase in our usefulness.
We must first have “faith” before there can be an increase in “faith”!
We are justified by “faith”!
We are saved by “faith”!
Christ dwells in our hearts by “faith”!
We stand by “faith”!
We walk by “faith”!
We have access to God by “faith”!
SO, An increase in “faith” should be a great desire.
It is by faith that we quench the fiery darts of this evil world.
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And it is by “faith” that we conquer this evil world!
1Jn 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
And what did Jesus say to this request?
*****Luk 17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
We know that “faith” is essential.
It is also our faith that make us free from causing another person to stumble.
These disciples of Jesus Christ knew and we should also know, that greater “faith” would make us all more like Christ Jesus and this should be the goal of everyone who calls on the name of the Lord.
Jesus said: It is not necessarily more “faith” that is needed but it is “genuine faith” that is needed.
Jesus said that even even a very small amount of “genuine faith” could do great things!
Jesus said nothing is impossible to those who have “genuine faith”!
What was the sign of “genuine faith”?
It takes “boldness” to walk up to a tree and command it to move!
Mat 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
Mat 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
SO THEN, It is “genuine faith” that can cause miracles to happen!
Psa 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
We know for sure that the chosen disciples of the Lord learned this lesson very well because the Book of Acts is full of the miracles of these disciples, who became the Apostles.
It was the Apostles of Jesus Christ that turned this world upside down and this world has never been the same since.
It is the lack of “genuine faith” that has caused the weakness of the Church of today!
Just like the tiny mustard seed, a tiny amount of “genuine faith” has an enormous potential.
But Jesus did not stop there, He continued to teach practical things to these disciples.
Jesus taught that the key to all His teaching was obedience.
*****Luk 17:7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
Luk 17:8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
We must understand that to obey God is not our service to Him, “but it is our duty”!
Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Ecc 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
There is a real danger that believers will become prideful because God gives such wonderful benefits when they live victoriously in their faith.
We must always remember we are only sinners that are saved because of God’s “Grace”!
**Jesus said once we are saved we are all His servants. To be a servant means we have a Master!
A servant is a slave bought to serve his Master!
The truth is, it is the spirit in which we serve God that is important!
We concern ourselves with what God thinks of our work rather than how we feel about the work God gives us to do.
The truth is every Christian belongs to God therefore God has every right to place us in His fields to plough.
We are the property of God!
1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
When we glorify ourselves thinking we are God’s best then we do not understand what Jesus is saying.
**We must serve and obey God until all the work is done.
Ploughing and feeding the animals is tough work that requires discipline in our bodies and in our spirit and they require endurance.
Those animals require feed everyday.
Without the ploughing there can be no harvest.
Not only is the servant of God to labor hard during the day but he also labors at evening while the world eats and sleeps.
A Christian’s day is not one with set hours but he must be ready for any emergency that arises, not because it is a request but because it is our duty to God.
We are to give all the time that God demands to the Lord!
We are to be waiting and watching until our death!
These things are to be done without becoming prideful but also without murmuring and complaining.
To be honest we are all unprofitable servants because we simply cannot measure our indebtedness to the Lord for what He has done for us!
Rom 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Rom 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
**We are to always be humble in this work.
No where does God say to be a Christian will be easy.
*****Luk 17:9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
Luk 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
No matter what we do for Christ it is our duty to do it!
Not only are we unworthy to obtain the “Grace” of God, we are unworthy to be His servants, His slaves.
We will all come up short no matter how much we think we have done for the Lord.
In fact when we get to Heaven it may be that those tears that are wiped away are the tears we will shed when we realize that we could have done much much more than we did.
There is absolutely no room for pride, arrogance or boasting in serving the Lord!
God commands perfection but we are all imperfect so God expects humility.
For those who preach a prosperity Gospel, the truth is we have no right to any compensation at all!
God’s plan of salvation will continue without our service, God just gives us great opportunities to be a part of His plan but without a doubt to serve the Lord will bring it’s own blessings.
Luk 12:37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
If we are satisfied with the work we are doing for the Lord then we certainly are not doing enough!.
When the Lord Jesus Christ took the time just before He went to the cross to pay our sin debt to give us such practical teachings then we know we are to serve God just as Jesus, the Son of Man, served God when He gave His life just because that is what He was sent to do!
We could say that as the slaves of the Lord we receive all the benefits because God only gets back what Adam lost to begin with, and many will still reject this plan of God!
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