Are You An Offense To Christ?

July 21, 2011
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This post is part of a series on what it means to live a Gospel-Governed life. You can read the previous posts by clicking here, here and here.

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Being fully aware of his impending death, Jesus begins to boldly communicate to his disciples that soon, he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and ultimately be murdered and hang on a bloody cross because of our sin (Matt 16:21).

From this episode in the life of Jesus, four observations can be made that serve as a negative example of how we can be an offense to Christ:

1. We are oblivious to the obvious.When the disciples heard such a shocking message, they went into a stunned and sensational stupor. The temperamental leader of the pack, Peter was quick to rise to offer up an objection.  Impulsively, the volatile vagabond later turned voracious visionary begins to rebuke Jesus by saying “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”  (Matt. 16:22). Despite his emphatic confession (Matt. 16:16), Peter remained oblivious to the obvious.
2. We are ostentatiously self-reliant. Jesus uses this situation as an opportunity to provide Peter with a very sobering statement. At first glance it may seem like a very stern reply from the Messiah. After all, when Jesus tells Peter to get behind Him and unmistakably names him “Satan,” (Matt. 16:23) this is a far cry from the same person who is described as One who will break not a bruised reed and quench not a faintly burning wick (Isa. 42:3). This is because Jesus decidedly desired to dismantle any and all current and future disciples from gratifying or giving in to their own sinful desires.
3. We are supremely self-absorbed. Jesus was intentional about what he said. Jesus understood that the greatest hindrance to a gospel-governed life is a life that is absorbed in self. It is a life that is governed by a mind that is centered on the things of man.
4. We are slow to ascertain the message. In this exchange, Jesus is conveying to us a momentous message: All who do not live a gospel-governed life are an offense to Him. We are an offense to Christ so long as we oppose his desire for our life.

We do well to transparently assess our current spiritual state to see whether we are an offense to Christ.

Question: How can we overcome being an “offense to Christ” in order to bring glory to Jesus and joy to the people that surround us?

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Bogdan Kipko

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Founder & Pastor of Forward Church In Irvine, CA & host of the Fuel For Life Podcast which is listened to in 50 states & 118 countries. Join the FFL nation!