Our duty is to forgive. We don’t need superpower faith to forgive. We simply need to do our duty. It’s your duty to forgive. The key to forgiving is our knowing this is a duty of the servant of God. It’s one of the most difficult things a disciple – follower of Jesus Christ – is expected to do. Nonetheless, our duty is to forgive. Do Your Duty!

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 17

Do Your Duty (Luke 17:1-10)

By Pastor Delbert Young

Audio

Do Your Duty – Luke 17:1-10

Scriptures: Luke 17:1-2, Luke 17:3-4, Micah 7:19, Hebrews 8:12, Matthew 6:14-15, Luke 17:5, Luke 17:6, Luke 17:7-10

Once again the chapter has changed, but Jesus has not moved. He continues teaching after telling the story about The Rich Man and Lazarus.

Luke 17:1 Jesus said to his DISCIPLES: “THINGS THAT CA– USE PEOPLE TO SIN ARE BOUND TO COME

Did he say “tempt people to sin,” or “cause people to sin?” You will sin. Our society doesn’t use the word “sin” unless the context is about God and religion. For example, if we are pulled over for speeding, we’re not giving a “sin citation.” If we need to talk to someone on the job about their performance, we don’t say, “Come to my office. I need to talk to you about your sinning at work.” We now call “sin” a different word reducing the meaning of the word.We say “mistake.” “I messed up. I made a mistake.” Politicians confess on national television a 4 year mistake. The problem with “mistake” is we make the same mistake over and over. Another problem is we plan to make the mistake. It’s not a mistake. A mistake is adding incorrectly or spelling incorrectly. So, when does a mistake become sin? Are we “mistakers,” or are we sinners?

Jesus said things that cause you to sin are bound to come. It’s inevitable and Jesus is talkingto his disciples, not heathens. It’s impossible is for things that cause us to sin not to come, but our sinning is not his emphasis.

Luke 17:1-2 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come but WOE to that PERSON THROUGH WHOM THEY COME. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.

W-O-W! What a graphic picture! Jesus said things that cause people to sin come throughpeople.James 1:14-15 says we sin when drawn away of our own lust. Sometimes the drawing is through people.

A millstone is a huge rounded stone weighing thousands of pounds devised to crush grain as it revolves in a circle pulled by an animal. Jesus said it would be better to have a mob style execution with concrete shoes than to be someone who caused a disciple to sin. It’s a graphic hyperbole – purposeful exaggeration to make a point – of the seriousness of causing a Christ follower to sin, or make a mistake.

Things that cause people to sin is one Greek word – skandalon {skan’-dal-on} (“scandal”) – the movable stick or trigger of a trap, a trap, any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall, any person or thing by which one is (entrapped).

Have you ever felt someone caused you to sin? They “trapped” you, as it were. You took the bait. Do you know this is inevitable? But, have you ever caused someone to sin? And we wonder why we sometimes drown in our troubles. Jesus said there are serious repercussions if we cause someone to sin. Can causing people to sin happen through preaching and teaching? The context infers Jesus includes the Pharisees – religious people – set traps, impediments, and will entrap people into sin with false religion. They were skandalon, using muttering about (15:2) and sneering (16:14) at Jesus causing even disciples to stop following Jesus. Religion can be a trap.

Luke 17:3-4 SO WATCH YOURSELVES. “IF YOUR BROTHER SINS, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

Watch yourselves from what? From the skandalon trap, but even more watch you’re not askandalon.

Jesus said it’s impossible to avoid sin even in church. He said, “If your brother sins…” as in brother, or sister, in the Lord. How many have ever been sinned against by someone in church, or did they only make a mistake? To you it was a sin and it’s impossible for this not to happen. Jesus said so. We are humans and humans sin. Church is a boot camp. Much of what you battle out there, you battle in here. We’re only humans needing forgiveness, but one thing even forgiven humans are good at is conflict. Even families fight, right? Even Christian families fight. But what should make us unique is how we deal with it. What are we supposed to first do? I know. We send them a mean text, or email, right?

Luke 17:3 “If your BROTHER SINS, REBUKE HIM

The word rebuke has a strong implication to us, but not so much in the original language.It’s epitimao {ep-ee-tee-mah’-o} – to show honor to, to honor, to tax with fault, reprove, show disapproval. It doesn’t mean put your finger in his or her face yelling. Luke gives the principle. Matthew 18:15-17 gives the 3-step process. Respectfully, you tell the person they sinned against you. If no repentance, take someone with you to discuss the issue. If no repentance, tell the church. If nothing changes, treat him/her as a pagan, but hopefully the situation will be resolved and most will. Use honor and respect, not text, email, and Facebook.

Luke 17:3 “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and IF HE REPENTS, forgive him.

If he repents. If he/she changes direction, great. Forgive them. Jesus didn’t say, “You should forgive him.” He said emphatically, “Forgive him.” No options. This doesn’t mean if they don’t repent you don’t forgive. It’s if they repent, you must forgive. Forgiveness is the heart of the kingdom. God forgave you and how many times since has God forgiven you?

Luke 17:4 If he sins against you SEVEN TIMES IN A DAY, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

There’s no limit to forgiveness is the thought. Forgiveness is limitless. How many times a day does God forgive you? I think I could reach seven. However, we can’t be enablers. A wife can forgive an abusive husband, but isn’t expected to say, “I know. I’ve got another black eye, but I’ve got to keep forgiving him.” No. Stop putting yourself in a position to get a black eye. Forgive yes, but don’t enable. Repent means stop doing it – change direction.

One more thing. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgotten. God doesn’t even do this. “Well, Delbert, what about the scripture saying God throws our sins into the sea of forgetfulness?” What scripture? Show me. I don’t know of one saying this. I know about this one.

(KJV) Micah 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

God doesn’t have Alzheimer’s. He simply won’t bring your sin up, but I don’t know of a scripture saying they’re forgotten. Forgiveness is not forgetting. You will remember when someone sins against you, but you don’t harbor the offense. When you forgive you let go of anger and judgment. Forgiveness is choosing to not harbor. Send it out to sea.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.”

What’s the difference between not remembering and forgetting? The act of your will. I must choose – will myself – not to harbor and think about it by remembering.

Forgiveness is for you more than for the person you forgive. And, of course there is this verse.

Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father WILL NOT FORGIVE YOUR SINS.

Your forgiving others works your forgiveness.

So, Jesus said forgive seven times a day and the apostles said…

Luke 17:5 The apostles said to the Lord, “INCREASE OUR FAITH!

Notice they said this with emphasis – “!” – meaning “What! Is this possible? Who can do this? Who can forgive this much? We’ll need superpower faith to do this!” Does forgiveness require superpower faith? What do you think? Have you ever felt this way about forgiving? You didn’t want to forgive and you didn’t feel like you could forgive. You said I need some kind of superpower to forgive this sin.

I’ve told you of an experience I had years back. I was sinned against. I was filled with anger and hate. My wife told me I would shake when sleeping. I prayed imprecatory – God hurt them even kill them – prayers. I knew better. I knew I had to forgive. Finally, one day in here walking and praying, I finally said it. “Lord, I forgive them.” I didn’t mean it. I knew it was my duty to say it. I knew God couldn’t forgive me unless I forgave, so I said it, but I didn’t think it was possible for me to forgive it. I felt I would definitely need some superpower faith. I kept walking and praying and saying it. It was as if God got a little deeper inside me each time. Finally, I fell to my knees weeping. All the hurt and anger left. Have I forgotten it? Heck no! It was the worst experience of my life. I’ll never forget it, but did I forgive? Yes I did. How about you? Anyone you need to get out of you so God can get back in? Give it to the sea.

Luke 17:6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, YOU CAN SAY to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and PLANTED IN THE SEA,’ and it will obey you.

Here we go with the sea again. It’s important to say you forgive and actually, you don’t need superpower faith. Jesus used another hyperbole to address their request for superpower faith. Evidently they were close to a mulberry tree. The mulberry tree is large with deep roots. The mustard seed is so tiny. The contrast is evident. It seems impossible for something so tiny to accomplish something so large and impossible. A tree won’t grow in the sea. Forgiveness seems impossible. However, a tiny amount of faith will do it. Uproot the offense from your heart. Plant it in the sea.

Luke 17:7-10 “Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? SO YOU ALSO, when you have DONE EVERYTHING YOU WERE TOLD TO DO, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have ONLY DONE OUR DUTY.'”

What’s this got to do with faith, being sinned against, and forgiveness? The apostles wanted super faith. Jesus said forgiveness doesn’t require super faith. It simply requires obedience. Servants were the norm then. We can think in terms of employer and employees. An employer isn’t going to say because you did what you were employed to do, “Go sit down. I’ll do your job for you.” No, the employee only did their duty. We are servants of God. We’ve been bought with a price – the death and blood of Jesus Christ. We’ve been forgiven. Our dutyis to forgive. I’m unworthy. I didn’t earn forgiveness. We don’t need superpower faith to forgive. We simply need to do our duty. It’s your duty to forgive.

The key to forgiving is our knowing this is a duty of the servant of God. It’s one of the most difficult things a disciple – follower of Jesus Christ – is expected to do. Nonetheless, our duty is to forgive. Do Your Duty!

So, has anyone ever caused you to sin? Have you ever caused someone to sin, or did you only make a mistake? Has anyone ever sinned against you? Where is your mulberry tree living today? Is it rooted in your heart, or planted in the sea? Plant it in the sea. It’s your duty.

Other Related Sermons:

Easter Blood Sacrifice – sermon video audio notes

The Resurrection Proofed – Easter sermon video audio notes

I SEE GRACE pt 2 – Easter sermon video audio notes