Christian Cyclopedia

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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 14:13–15, 19–21).

Offense is given by uncharitable use of Christian liberty, without consideration for the weak (see Adiaphora), and by unchristian life (Mt. 18:6; Ro 2:23–24). 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 2:11–14). RGL

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
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Content Reproduced with Permission

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