Do you get offended easily? Did you know that offense is a trap of Satan? Jesus spoke often about not allowing yourself to be offended.
"Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me." Luke 7:23 NAS
Offense is what caused the Pharisee’s and still causes unbelievers today, to stumble and not turn to Christ for salvation. This is exactly what Satan wants. But for those who do turn to Christ, offense is still one of the enemy’s main weapons. Offense throws up a wall to keep others out and closes our ears. Offense helps to create a hard heart. It is an attempt to protect one’s self and signifies a lack of trust in God’s ability to protect us.
What is the cause of offense according to the Bible? A weak, evil or seared conscience.
A weak, evil and seared conscience is linked in the Bible. This is a conscience that is burdened by sin debt and is still operating under the law to some degree, not walking fully in the faith. Living by the letter of the law, The Pharisee’s were often offended by the words and actions of others. The law is about self-reliance and self-protection, while faith is about trusting Jesus 1,000 percent. A weak, evil and seared conscience is found in a person who cannot let go of the law fully in their minds and trust Jesus alone out of false fear of punishment propagated by Satan.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 1 John 4:18 NAS
A weak conscience is evil or seared according to the Bible because it is defiled by carrying the unnecessary burden of guilt for sins already paid for and forgiven by Jesus. This could be all sin in general or something the believer sees as extremely bad in their past that they cannot let go of, cannot forgive themselves for. In being unable to forgive themselves, they have placed themselves back under the law to some degree in their thoughts and mind. Therefore, their conscience is filled with guilt, fear, and shame. This defiles the persons conscience when their conscience should be clear due to Jesus one sacrifice for all for all time. An evil conscience may even do things subconsciously to lead a person to punish themselves to pay for these sins. They may subconsciously believe they do not deserve to be loved or have happiness and ruin their own life and that of others to prove they are undeserving. A weak conscience, evil and seared conscience is heavily burdened, not willing to place the entire burden of sin upon Jesus where it belongs, where God wants the burden. This burden that is not ours to carry has all kinds of negative effects and makes us of limited use for God’s kingdom.
This malady of an evil conscience affects many believers and plays right into Satan’s hands and comes from the enemy’s deception. According to Paul, a person with a weak, evil and seared conscience is easily wounded, which means they are easily offended by the actions and the words of others. Offense steals the peace of God from our hearts, destroys relationships, families, and entire churches, it is the cause of most wars.
Offense can lead us to act in alarming ways towards others at the smallest infraction, which later brings us a load of guilt and condemnation as a believer with a weak conscience. It is just like Satan to lead you to be offended and then beat you with guilt, shame and fear for your offense and the reaction it caused towards others. It may even get you to doubt your own salvation.
Offense is a symptom of an evil and weak conscience and offense is a trap of Satan.
Offense is a trap and does the work of Satan. The word offended in the Greek is defined in Stongs 4624: The word skandalízō is the Greek word used for offense or offended in the New Testament. It means – properly, set a snare ("stumbling-block"); (figuratively) "to hinder right conduct or thought; to cause to stumble" – literally, "to fall into a trap" (Abbott-Smith). See 4625 (skandalon). Many translations link it to falling away from the faith by translating skandalizo as falling away. In Gal 5:4 we are told that to fall away from grace is to add the law back in as a requirement for salvation in our thoughts and minds.
Do you have a weak conscience that leads to offense? There are an innumerable number of examples to demonstrate this truth in our lives today, but we will use Paul’s example. Knowing how God strictly forbids idol temples and idol worship, would your conscience allow you to walk into the temple of an idol and eat meat that had been clearly sacrificed to that idol, or would you be offended by even the thought? If you sense you would be offended, fearful to do so, this is a sign of a weak conscience according to Paul.
For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol's temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 1 Cor 8:10-12 NAS
Paul is clear that his actions did not affect his conscience to eat sacrificed meat in the temple of an idol. His only concern was if a brother with a weak conscience saw him and tried to do the same. Making a brother stumble, become offended when, it was in Pauls power to avoid this pitfall for his brother, was not walking in love.
But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake;I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? 1 Cor 10:28-29 NAS
If your conscience would be offended by Pauls actions or the thought of doing the same, it is a sign of a weak, seared and evil conscience due to a lack of knowledge of Jesus righteousness that belongs to a believer. Instead of eyes fixed solely on Jesus finished work, your eyes are often fixed on the failures, the sins of your dead flesh too. These are sins that God does not even see and is not counting. God sees a believer’s faith and not their sins. When we keep our eyes on our still fallen flesh, we are easily offended, falling into Satan’s trap, empowering the enemy to attack our weak conscience and beat us with fear, guilt, and shame. The word wound in the above verse is defined: I beat, strike, wound, inflict punishment.
These feelings of guilt, fear, and shame often lead the person into acts of sin to escape these negative feelings. Obviously, this only makes things worse for a weak and evil conscience. It perpetuates the cycle of sin that brings more condemnation to the weak conscience.
Paul knew that love is the only thing that fulfills all of God's laws by default - Romans 13:8-10 and Gal 5:14. This is why he did not want to lead a brother with a weak conscience into offense if it was up to him. Paul knew that believers are called to walk by the Spirit of the law and no longer by the letter of the law. Love is the Spirit of all of God's laws.
Paul writes the following in Romans 14. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin. Rom 14:13-23 NAS
Explanation of a seared conscience
We normally think of a seared conscience as a conscience that no longer knows right from wrong, an evil conscience. But this is not how the Bible defines it. Here is the Biblical definition from one of the most highly regarded New Testament Greek scholars.
Thayer’s defines a seared conscience in the New Testament as one who is perpetually conscious of sin.
THAYER'S GREEK LEXICON, STRONGS NT 2743: (branded in their own conscience i. e.) whose souls are branded with the marks of sin, i. e. who carry about with them the perpetual consciousness of sin
It is like their sins have been branded so deeply into the persons conscience that they cannot let them go and are constantly reminded of them. This is an evil conscience according to the Bible.
by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 1 Tim 4:2 NAS
Being perpetually conscious of sin (evil conscience) is the opposite of God’s goal of no longer being conscious of sin (good conscience) for the believer stated in Hebrews 10:2.
Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? Heb 10:2 ESV
A seared conscience is a weak conscience and is preoccupied with a sin debt to God instead of conscious of God’s forgiveness and righteousness in Christ where God wants us. This is where we need our minds renewed.
How do we fix a weak, seared and evil conscience? I speak from experience on this matter. I used to be easily offended. This was even true long after I learned the word used for offended in the New Testament is defined as a trap. While this knowledge does help, you end up creating a law that you will no longer get offended. And we all know how weak we are when it comes to keeping laws. When we fail, guilt and condemnation come. So making a law for ourselves that we will no longer get offended is not the answer. I stumbled on the answer myself as I sought His righteousness and my identity in Christ. This is what delivers us from a weak and evil conscience and produces many great fruits of the Spirit in our life.
Since I became firmly established in His righteousness, my identity in Christ and fully let go of the law and embraced His righteousness and grace completely, offense is no longer an issue for me. While it may try and flair up in an extreme instance, it is easily dismissed from my thoughts and mind. I really see it for the trap it is now, just like resentment, bitterness, anger, fear to name a few. I have learned I cannot afford to go down these paths any longer. This happened by correctly dividing God’s word and fully embracing the teaching in the New Covenant that Jesus died to bring us.
While I was not seeking to write this Bible Study, just recently, God spoke a clear word to me that a weak conscience is easily offended. I researched it in the Word and sure enough, this truth is in the Bible as we have just read from Paul.
Here is what I did that stopped my tendency to get offended and much, much more.
1) Seek first His righteousness – Matt 6:33.
2) Learn who you are in Christ, your true identity.
3) Let go of your old master, Sin, completely so that he can no longer use the law to beat you with feelings of shame and guilt like a slave.
For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Rom 6:14 NAS
4) Fully embrace the free gift of righteousness and your new Master Jesus and His abundance of grace.
For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Rom 5:17 NAS
5) Stop mixing the Old Covenant law of Moses with the New Covenant of grace and truth brought by Jesus. Moses is not our High Priest or leader, Jesus is the New High Priest, we are under him exclusively. The New Covenant of grace and truth fully replaced the Old Covenant of law. When we mix the two like many believers do in error, the law makes grace of no effect, cutting us off from the grace of Christ.
But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. Rom 11:6 NAS
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; you are fallen from grace. Gal 5:4 NKJV
Mixing grace and law is an easy error to make and is usually made by very sincere believers who want to do all they can to please God. But to have success, we must do things God’s way, not man’s way. The purpose of the law is to make us conscious of our sin, it cannot transform our heart, the root of the problem. God’s grace alone is what teaches us to live a Godly life through heart transformation.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, Titus 2:11 -12 NIV
We reign in this life when we fully embrace the abundance of grace God has for us.
Start your study of the New Covenant by reading the book of Hebrews that tells all about it. Restrict your study to the New Covenant for one year until the veil is completely removed from your heart and eyes, and you are firmly established in it. I have written many New Covenant Bible studies that will help you. All are strongly supported with scripture.
6) Believe God’s word fully, you can now approach God boldly in the holy of holies by the new a living way, solely by the blood of Jesus. Trusting Jesus 1,000 percent, not relying on the law at all. Believe that your heart has been sprinkled with His blood and is clean from an evil conscience, no more shame or guilt, no matter what your past, present or future sins may be. Hold fast to the confession of your hope, your new Master Jesus, trust Him alone and His righteousness, without wavering in the faith. Leave the burden of the promise of your total forgiveness and righteousness on the promise maker, Jesus. He has promised all who believe forgiveness and eternal life. Trust Him, for He is faithful and always keeps His promises.
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; Heb 10: 19-23 NAS
7) Agree with God and forgive yourself as God has forgiven you. Jesus sacrifice worked and His righteousness is yours. You no longer need to be conscious of your sins, they are all paid for, the debt is canceled. Your heart has been sprinkled clean from an evil conscience. We live in a fallen world, born with an inherited Sin nature from Adam. We had no choice to be born otherwise. All of us have sinned. All of us have done terrible things. Stop allowing Satan to elevate your sin above the blood of Christ. No matter what you have done, it is paid for in full. Embrace His righteousness and let go of your sin, guilt, and shame once and for all. Embrace His life and let go of death.
Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? Heb 10:2 NAS
You have done no worse than the Apostle Paul who before being born again had tortured, imprisoned and put Christians to death. Yet, Paul tells us more than once he had a clean conscience.
8) Jesus sacrifice cleansed your conscience too, embrace it and hold fast to your clear conscience and the faith.
They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 1 Tim 3:9 ESV
9) Most people do not have the knowledge that you know have about offense. You have escaped the trap of offense, now do the next right thing, do not give offense to others whenever it is within your power. In other words, out of love, do all you can to keep others from this trap of Satan that you are now wise too.
Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; 1 Cor 10:32 NASB
Study the New Covenant in the book of Hebrews. Read all of Hebrews 10 HERE.
More studies that apply:
What is an Evil Conscience in the Bible?
Is an Evil Conscience Creating Fear in Your Life Christian?
I No Longer Have Any Consciousness of Sins or Guilt
How to Stop Sin Consciousness that Leads to Fear, Worry, Guilt and Condemnation
Self Occupied or Christ Occupied
The New Covenant of Grace Replaced the Old Covenant of Law
How Christians Dilute the Power of the Gospel in Their Lives
If You Believe You Have Been Saved
Leave the Burden on God
Jesus is The End of The Law for Believers
Satan Will Always Point You Back to the Law
Christians are Blessed Because God is Not Imputing our Sins
What is the One Unforgivable Sin?
Who is Jesus Talking to with Depart from Me I Never Knew You?
Holy Spirit Does Not Convict a Believer of Their Sins
Sin Consciousness Grieves the Holy Spirit
I Am a New Creation IN CHRIST
I Am Holy, I Am Sanctified, I Am Perfected
God Said a Believer Can Never be Considered Unholy
God Sees A Believers Faith Not Their Sins
Believers are Never Called Sinners in the New Testament
Sin Does Not Make a Christian a Hypocrite
There is No Condemnation for You Christian
Your Flesh is Dead Christian, Not in School
Doubt and Unbelief are the Precursors for All Sin and Turmoil
Doubting Your Complete and Total Forgiveness is What Keeps You Sinning, Christian
If Sin Has Dominion in Your Life, You are Living Under the Law, Not Grace
What is The One Thing That Keeps a Believer in Sin?
Do You Know the Spirit of All of God's Laws?
Christians Are Not Qualified to be Ministers of the Letter of the Law
Many more New Covenant Bible Studies HERE. Jesus poured out His blood for the New Covenant of grace and truth, replacing the Old Covenant law of Moses. Believers are exclusively under the New Covenant, the last will and testament of Jesus that began after the cross.
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20