Sermon Outline: Increase Our Faith!

In Luke 17, the Lord asked His disciples to do something that is evidently so challenging and daunting that they cry out, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5). What did He ask them to do? What did He require of them that was so difficult? There are several ideas to consider:

Don’t be a stumbling block.
• Luke 17:1 
• False teaching, participation in sin, hypocrisy, etc. might cause others to stumble. 
• What am I doing (or potentially doing) that is causing others to stumble? 
• It is better to die a violent and ugly death than to cause someone to sin (17:2).

Stay on guard. 
• Luke 17:3—pay attention to yourselves! 
• It is difficult to be vigilant and engaged all the time, but we must be continually on the lookout— guarding against sin (in ourselves and the church).

Rebuke sin. 
• Luke 17:3—if your brother sins, rebuke him. 
• It is one thing to refrain from “causing” others to sin, it is something else to point out and silence the sin in others—this is hard to do with the right spirit / attitude / motivation (cf. Gal. 6:1-2; Matt. 7:1-5). 
• The Lord demands that we expose & silence sin (cf. Eph. 5:11). 

Forgive sin. 
• Luke 17:3—if he repents, forgive him. 
• It is so hard to forgive people who have hurt us. 
• While we want to be forgiven, we don’t often jump at the opportunity to forgive others. 
• Scripture is clear about what the Lord expects (cf. Matt. 6:14-15; 18:35; Eph. 4:32; etc.).

• Luke 17:4—with repeated sin & repentance, there must be repeated forgiveness. 
• If it is difficult to forgive once, how much more to do so over and over! 
• As often as it takes, I must be willing to forgive the one who repents.

At this, we should all pray, “Lord, increase our faith!” It is often a challenge to follow Jesus, especially when we let ourselves and our own selfishness get in the way. Let us be more like Jesus. Let us trust in Him to provide us with what we need (Heb. 4:16). 

Bart Warren
South Green Street church of Christ
Glasgow, KY

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