Handling Conflict Effectively Part 2
Galatians 2:1-6, 11-16 – 1 Then fourteen years later I went back to Jerusalem again, this time with Barnabas; and Titus came along, too. 2 I went there because God revealed to me that I should go. While I was there I met privately with those considered to be leaders of the church and shared with them the message I had been preaching to the Gentiles. I wanted to make sure that we were in agreement, for fear that all my efforts had been wasted and I was running the race for nothing. 3 And they supported me and did not even demand that my companion Titus be circumcised, though he was a Gentile. 4 Even that question came up only because of some so-called Christians there – false ones, really – who were secretly brought in. They sneaked in to spy on us and take away the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. They wanted to enslave us and force us to follow their Jewish regulations. 5 But we refused to give in to them for a single moment. We wanted to preserve the truth of the gospel message for you. 6 And the leaders of the church had nothing to add to what I was preaching. . . . 11 But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. 12 When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile Christians, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. 13 As a result, other Jewish Christians followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, “Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions? 15 “You and I are Jews by birth, not ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles. 16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.” (New Living Translation)
Facts and Fiction of Healthy Churches
▸ Healthy churches are one big, happy family – they are devoid of conflict, working together without tension or frustration towards mutual goals?
❑ True ❑ False
▸ Christian leaders never have disputes – pastors, missionaries, professors, elders, deacons have reached a level of spiritual maturity they no longer have disagreements with other leaders?
❑ True ❑ False
▸ When conflict is understood as a normal part of church life, healthy churches handle it so well that everyone is satisfied when it’s resolved?
❑ True ❑ False
▸ Outsiders viewing churches from a distance believe churches have strong unity and loving fellowship?
❑ True ❑ False
How Was the Dispute Over Doctrinal Issue Resolved?
1. The issue was clearly __________________ and ______________
Acts 15:1 – . . . “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.” (New Living Translation)
2. The issue was ____________________
Galatians 2:5 – But we refused to give in to them for a single moment. . . . (New Living Translation)
3. The leaders _______ ________________ to resolved the problem
4. The leaders considered all __________________ of the problem
5. They reached a _______________________ that they and their churches could affirm
Acts 15:16–18 – 16 ‘Afterward I will return and restore the fallen house of David. I will rebuild its ruins and restore it, 17 so that the rest of humanity might seek the Lord, including the Gentiles – all those I have called to be mine. The Lord has spoken – 18 he who made these things known so long ago.’ (New Living Translation)
How the Dispute Between Paul and Peter Was Handled
Galatians 2:14 – I said to Peter in front of all the others, “Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions? (New Living Translation)
2 Peter 3:15–16 – 15 And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him – 16 speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction. (New Living Translation)
1. Identify the _____ __________ and made sure it is worth __________________ over
2. Deal with the person and problem as __________________ as possible
3. Believe the __________ about and promote the __________ in the other