Matthew 18:7 "Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is inevitable that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! 8 And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.
verse 7: Woe means a state of intense hardship or distress. Jesus states three truths in this verse. Truth one: great distress and hardship comes to the world because of the world's temptations to sin. Romans 5:12 instructs us that sin came into the world through one man, Adam (see Genesis 3 for the accurate historical account) and death through sin and so death spread to all men because all sinned. The death spoken of has two parts. The death of our body (Hebrews 9:27) and the second death of eternal suffering of torment in the Lake of Fire (Matthew 25:46; Revelation 21:8). Truth 2: It is inevitable that people will be tempted to sin. Truth 3: Great distress awaits the person who causes temptation for another person to sin. A graphic example: If I take an alcoholic to a bar to eat, drink and be merry, I cause temptation to sin for the alcoholic. I sin by causing another person to be tempted to sin. A not so graphic example is Peter tempting Jesus to sin by trying to keeping Him from doing God's will of dying on the cross (Matthew 16:23).
verses 8-9: These verses are about the person tempted to sin. The person tempted to sin is to deal radically with whatever personally draws him/her into sin. If your hand picks up an article to steal, Jesus uses figurative language, hyperbole, to tell us to deal radically with sin. We are not to literally cut off our hand or poke out our eye, but we are to take drastic action to not sin. The most drastic action, and only action, we can take to not sin is to repent of our sin, believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sin, rose again on the third day and is our Lord, which means we will obey Him (Mark 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 10:9; Romans 1:5; Matthew 28:20). When we do this, we will not be thrown into the eternal fire, the Lake of Fire. We experience the results of our radical act of repentance of sin and belief in the Gospel when we count ourselves dead to sin and offer ourselves to God as an instrument of righteousness (Romans 6:11-14). We experience our radical action by being willing to die rather than sin (1 Peter 4:1).
We never have an excuse to sin. Our sin is our personal responsibility. God won't let us off the hook because another person tempted us to sin. We never have an excuse for tempting another to sin, because tempting another to sin is sin and we will be held accountable. The one tempting to sin and the one giving in to the temptation to sin are both guilty of sin. Thank God, He has provided a way out of the penalty and power of sin by Christ's death on the cross (Romans 5:10; 6:6-7)