In the Biblical sense, anything whereby one is led to sin or error or whereby he is encouraged to continue therein. The Gk. word skandalon, of which offense is a tr., is used to designate the trigger stick of a trap; a trap, snare, or impediment put in the way to cause one to stumble or fall; stumbling block. The seriousness of giving offense is evident from the fact that offense is an obstacle placed in the way of one's salvation (1 Co 8:11; Ro 14:15). Christ and the Gospel are an offense to some (cf., e.g., Mt 11:6; 13:57; 15:12; 17:27; Jn 6:61; Ro 9:33; 1 Co 1:23; Gl 5:11; 1 Ptr 2:8). A Christian's conduct may be an offense to some (cf., e.g., Ro 14:1315, 1921).
Offense is given by uncharitable use of Christian liberty, without consideration for the weak (see Adiaphora), and by unchristian life (Mt. 18:6; Ro 2:2324). Offense may be unjustly taken on basis of a prejudiced, loveless judgment of a Christian's actions or words.
A Christian must give offense when avoiding offense would involve denial or yielding of a truth of God's Word (Gl 2:1114). RGL
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission
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