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Addressing Problems with People

We are the Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Acts 11:1–4 KJV 1900
1 And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. 2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, 3 Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. 4 But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying,
Acts 11:1–18 KJV 1900
1 And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. 2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, 3 Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. 4 But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying, 5 I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me: 6 Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 7 And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat. 8 But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth. 9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. 10 And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven. 11 And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me. 12 And the spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house: 13 And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; 14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. 16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. 17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? 18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Introduction

Life is difficult.
Some of the most difficult problems arise out of our relationships with people!
Those are some of the most stressful problems that can be encountered.
I know that I face those problems.
What about you?
Do you encounter “People Problems”?
Do you encounter “People Problems”?
or is it more like “Problem People”?
or is it more like “Problem People”?
Let’s be honest!
“People Problems” or “Problem People”
Acts Chapter 10 is the pivotal story of Peter delivering the Gospel to the Gentiles! It marked the beginning of a new era in the new testament church.
But, just as the New Church in Jerusalem encountered problems, this incident at the house of Cornelius in chapter 10 was not without controversy.
As we begin Chapter 11 of the book of Acts - Let me talk to you about a very important topic.
If you will grasp the concept that I am talking about this morning, it will invariably improve you relations with other people.
marriage
workplace relationships
family
adult children
Teens
fellow church members
Friend day - Friends
This concept today will help to understand others.
It will help to listen more and insert foot less.
It will help you avoid apologizing.
It can possible keep you from offending others needlessly.
Have I build it up enough!
I want to talk to you this morning about this topic...

Addressing Problems with People

In this interaction in the first 18 verses of acts we see some classic missteps in human behavior.
Here is the Goal today…To remind us that when there appears to be problem with our relationships that we seek to use Bible principles in handling them.
When there appears to be problem
That we are reminded that scripture is our singular authority in spiritual matters.
Now...
We seek to make scripture our singular authority in spiritual matters.
What can we learn about approaching people when we believe there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
#1 Not all problems need to be addressed!
#2 When we do, address problems scripturally!
When they do...
Matthew 18:15 KJV 1900
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
matt 18: verse
Life is tough enough without introducing even more drama! We can reduce some of this drama by simply following a few basic guidelines as we approach people problems!
***Although people are the source of problems - people are also the source of the solution!***

1. Do not believe everything you hear

They heard v1. they were not there.
Acts 11:1 KJV 1900
1 And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.
“Quote from Abraham Lincoln” - pic
Believe only what you verify! It may take some time, but there is always two sides to a story.
Believe only what you verify! It may take some time, but there is always two sides to a story.
Just because you read it
Just because you were told about it.
The other side of this coin is that they HEARD because someone TOLD.
When there is a hearer there is a teller!
The sub-topic to the idea of hearing things is telling the story.
We do not know HOW they found it. But it is evident that someone told them!
There are many problems with that can arise in this scenario....
Third (or more) hand information can be mis-communicated - accidentally!
The reporter could have injected his bias!
Did you hear about the house of Cornelius - they got saved!
Did you hear about Peter - he ate dinner in a gentiles house!
BOTH ARE TRUE STATEMENTS!
“We only Report the truth!” - HOW you report makes a difference!
ill: Teens: - “literal definition of a word”
ill: Marriage:
You have a responsibility to test the truth you hear!
You also have a responsibility to tell the entire truth, in context!

2. Do not react until you understand

Acts 11:2 KJV 1900
2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,
As soon as Peter arrived in Jerusalem, they argued with him! The men of circumcision - those that had grow up under Jewish Tradition! They wanted to contend with Peter about this matter!
Seek understanding the situation before reacting to it.
Find out the who, what , where, when, why and how!
If you do not know and understand what is going on you cannot make proper decisions!
WHAT? Contended with him!
Proverbs 18:13 KJV 1900
13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, It is folly and shame unto him.
They were contending with Peter, and he had yet to share his side of the story!
Let me repeat - there is always more to the STORY!
In fact there are three sides to every story....
His side -
Her side
The truth
We see things from different vantage points!
But, they wanted to CONTEND with PETER!
tells us what we should contend for...
v2 they contended or fought with them
Jude 3 KJV 1900
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Contend - to fight or dispute on behalf - here the gospel, by the Jews - the law
People are too willing to FIGHT for certain things - can I suggest we CONTEND not with each other, but for the Gospel -
If we put half the effort into spreading the food new of the GOSPEL story -
Before you speak off on a matter make sure you understand!

3. Do not make assumptions based hearsay

Acts 11:3 KJV 1900
3 Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.
Again they made an accusation of Peter without even hearing his side of the story!
The main thrust of the problem they had was based on what they HEARD!
There is on simple solution tho this problem.
Ask before accusing
ASK!
Asking instead of accusing can make all the difference in the world!
“YOU DID THIS” - well didn’t he? Yes!
They only heard part of the story! - God told him to do it!
They heard that Cornelius responded to the GOSPEL - so what did they focus on? That PETER went into his house!
Even if you hear it.
Even if you see it
ASK! I have a picture - I have a video!
“Commercial” cat - dinner
Who could they have asked about this matter?
we are circumcised - they are not.
Of all the things that could have said about the house fo Cornelius - this was the first that said!
1. They could have asked Cornelieus - They would know what kind of man he was.
Acts 10:22 KJV 1900
22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
2. They could have talked to GOD!
Acts 10:2 KJV 1900
2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
3. They could have asked Peter!
When facing people problems - ASK!
I thought I saw...
I might be wrong...
Could you help me understand...
Can you tell me about ...
“YOU DID THIS” - well didn’t he? Yes!
They only heard part of the story! - God told him to do it!
They heard they heard the GOSPEL - so what did they focus on? That PETER went into a house!
Even - visual hearsay - I have a picture - I have a video!
“Commercial” cat - dinner

4. Do not make accusations based on preferences

Acts 11:3 KJV 1900
3 Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.
The CORE of what they were upset about was this...
PETER ate in the home of an uncircumcised person.
Peter, You were talking to people that are not like us!
You were talking to people that are not like us!
we are circumcised - they are not.
Contend for truth not preference
Of all the things that could have said about the house of Cornelius - this was the first that said!
The accusation verse 3 was based on religious tradition and not scripture (act 10:28)

II. Obedience of the Man of God (10:23–33)

Keep in mind that, up to this time, the Apostles had not preached to the Gentiles. Even the Samaritans (Acts 8) were “half-breed” Jews with reverence for the Mosaic law. Peter did not go to the Gentiles because he was obeying the Great Commission (although he was), but because the Spirit had distinctly commanded him to go. In fact, when he arrived at Cornelius’ house, he asked, “For what reason have you sent for me?” (v. 29, NKJV) And when he preached, God had to interrupt him in order to accomplish His purpose (v. 44 and 11:15–16). Like the other apostles, Peter was still clinging to the Jewish outlook, and he knew that the Gentiles could not be reached until the Jews had accepted their Messiah and He had set up His kingdom. But now Peter was going to learn that God was introducing a new program—the church. Please do not assume that Peter understood all about this new program; in fact, Paul later had to rebuke Peter for his inconsistency (see Gal. 2). During this period of transition (Acts 8–12) we see Peter disappearing from the scene and with him the kingdom message to Israel.

The Acts of the Apostles with Notes, Comments, Maps, and Illustrations Ch. 10:1–48: The Call and Baptism of Cornelius

The O. T. law forbade intermarriage with the heathen, and discouraged intimacy of relationship with them (Deut. 7:1, 2, 16, 23–26; 12:27–32); but neither the O. T. nor the Rabbinical rules forbade all commerce between Jews and Gentiles. In that case the Jews could not have lived scattered throughout heathen lands. Social fellowship with Gentiles was, however, accounted unlawful. “Those foreigners who come to us, without submitting to our laws, Moses permitted not to have any intimate connection with us

Mark 7:6–9 KJV 1900
6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
mar 7:
The other Apostles and Disciples that were in Jerusalem were still holding on to some old traditions.
The book of Acts is a time of transition.
Up to this point we see that many of the saved Jews were still attending the synagogues.
After this Chapter the book of acts transitions and begins to focus on the ministry of Paul and the Gentiles and the church instead of Peter and the Jews.
Here it he thought...
Before you resist someone make sure it is on scriptural basis and not preferential basis.
I don’t like...
I don’t think....
I don’t feel...
Let me be very gentle and firm at the same time.....
I don't care what you like, think or feel - I care what the BIBLE says about it!
Too often we are too quick to JUDGE and DISMISS people based on a personal standard instead of a BIBLICAL standard!
You had better have BIBLE to back up!

Summary

The accusers were GOOD MEN!
Apostles and leaders of the first Church in Jerusalem.
Problems arise even among the best of people!
Problems will arise in the home and in church. Among people that you love.
To their CREDIT, when the heard the full story - they changed their mind and accepted what GOD had done.
But that came about AFTER the conversation!
WHAT IF....
the TELLER focused on the GOSPEL
they ASKED first instead of contending.
The could have skipped right to the GOOD stuff.
BE REMINDED
Just because you hear something does not mean that it is true.
Just because you hear something does not mean you have the entire truth.
If you want to contend for something contend for the Gospel.
Ask questions to understand before you answer.
Respond to matters based on Biblical truth not tradition.

Call to Action

Those REMINDERS will help your relationships!
What SITUATION are facing that could be improved by using these Biblical helps?
Go back if you need to and correct these mistakes.

Prayer

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