“Woe to the world because of offenses. For offenses will inevitably come, but woe to that person by whom the offense comes. If your hand or your foot causes you to fall away, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to fall away, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hellfire.” Matthew 18:7-9 CSB https://bible.com/bible/1713/mat.18.7-9.CSB
These are challenging words from God. We ignore them because of their severity, locking into cutting off hands and feet and gouging eyes that lead us into sin. The text begins with a warning against those who cause others to sin. All of humanity needs to be reconciled to God through Jesus, Who alone can reconcile us to God. We are separated from God at birth by the sin we inherited from Adam and the sin we continue in until we are born again. Upon repentance from such sin and faith in the reconciliatory work of Jesus, we are adopted into the family of God, becoming children of God. As children, we are now on a mission, the Great Commission, to seek and save the lost, teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded us, for God our Father has employed us in His mission to see His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Therefore, the child of God is warned against hindering others from faith in Jesus like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day were hindering people from seeing and believing in Him as their promised Messiah as the Scriptures foretold. As children of God, our words and deeds must be an asset to people seeing Jesus, not a hindrance. Our lives are not to continue in the sins from which we repented but are to reflect the transformative work of the Holy Spirit, Who now lives within the child of God. We are not to fall away from the faith we confessed by continuing in the sin from which we have been forgiven and for which Christ died. Living this way is a great evil and jeopardizes our souls to hell. We are to live as Jesus lived, fully absorbed in the word of God to fully engage the work of God so that our lives are a constant reflection of the love of God for drawing all people to the person of God in Jesus the Savior.