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Dealing with Conflict

Acts  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:57
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Acts 15:36-41

Acts 15:30–35 KJV 1900
30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle: 31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation. 32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them. 33 And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the apostles. 34 Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still. 35 Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

Acts 15:36–41 KJV 1900
36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. 37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. 38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. 39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; 40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

Dealing with Conflict

Introduction

There will always be conflict.
From the beginning of human time until Christ rules in eternity - there will be conflict.
Of course there is needless conflict.
selfish
pointless
petty
insignificant.
Some people just love a good FIGHT!
Much conflict is borne out of pride....
Proverbs 13:10 KJV 1900
10 Only by pride cometh contention: But with the well advised is wisdom.
For conflict to continue - there needs to be two participating parties!
Wisdom will help you navigate conflicts.
While there is PRIDE conflict will arise.....
There is conflict that comes from HONEST diverging opinions.
Not based in pride but rather what that person holds true and dear.
To them a compromise is a violation of conscience.
When HONEST conflict arises ...
Problem
diffcult
loss
division

“Conflict is a chance to make things better.”

As we face conflict in our lives...
Home
Family
Work
Church...
I want to give you three key thoughts on conflict.

Face conflict do not avoid it.

Before there is a conflict, there is difference of opinion.....
Conflicting opinions - opposing viewpoints.
Often you cannot tell who is “right” or who is “wrong”.
Sometimes there is no “right” or “wrong”
Sometimes a person does not know they are “wrong”
A person can believe something that is not right.
It really does not matter!
Different people
lives
upbringing
traditions
culture
There will BE CONFLICT!
One key to enjoying your life more is this.....
Don’t try strive for a conflict free life! You will disappointed every time! - Strive to handle the conflict with Bible precepts!
SOOOO, What was this conflict over? What was the ISSUE?
Acts 15:36–38 KJV 1900
36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. 37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. 38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
Let’s go! - Let’s take my nephew John Mark!
NO!
He quit on us once before! I was counting on him!
Who was John Mark?
When Peter was released from prison he went to Mary (John Mark mothers house)
He knew was familiar with authentic Christianity.
Acts 12:12 KJV 1900
12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.
This was in Jerusalem....
John Mark was Barnabas nephew
Colossians 4:10 KJV 1900
10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)
He was familiar with the work that his Uncle was doing.
John Mark was helping Paul and Barnabas in Antioch
Acts 12:25 KJV 1900
25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.
John Mark went with Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey
Acts 13:5 KJV 1900
5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.

First journey - map

John Mark left to go home (His mom lived in Jerusalem)
Acts 13:13 KJV 1900
13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

John mark left map

Paul and Barnabas continue map

***John mark - he is not faithful!
Proverbs 25:19 KJV 1900
19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble Is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.
This is why faithfulness is so vital - YOU MATTER!
You matter to others!
What you do matters!
When you just DON'T SHOW UP, other people suffer loss!
When you just don;t show up, you send the signal that you do not value what you do, and you do not value others.
Please be faithful!
When you lack faithfulness in spiritual discipline - you send the signal, that you do not value yourself, and you do not value God.
Up to this point - Paul was not ready to give John Mark a second chance! (Not yet)
This is the “issue”
Actually - BOTH Paul and Barnabas have reasonable points!
Paul - he quit once - he is likely to quit again when it gets hard. I need a faithful person that can be counted on.
Barnabas - Everyone needs a second chance to prove themselves. (My sister called me and asked if I could get son a job)

If you live your life avoiding conflict, you will always be on the run.

Before you get down on Paul or Barnabas.......
They did one thing right - They faced the conflict.
If you RUN before you face problems, you will miss out on so many amazing things that GOD has for you!
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.
“You may just GAIN a brother”
about 90% of most conflicts boil down to some misunderstandings.
If you RUN - you might mis great opportunity!
We run from people
From Jobs
From church
From relationships
From family
WHY - WE DON’T FACE IT!
Don’t be afraid of conflict......!

Seek resolution not peace.

Acts 15:39 KJV 1900
39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;
They could not come to a resolution, so they departed!
When you have two people that strongly believe their position, not willing or able to change. There will necessarily be some loss.
They may be stubborn for no good reason!
They may be stubborn for good reason!
My belief on scripture has people to part ways
My stance to live a christian life has caused me to part ways
My willingness to be faithful to church...
When it comes to conflict - compromise is in order. Where you draw the line is determined by what you truly believe.
Most things can have compromise - Some things cannot.
toilet paper--------------- Inerrancy of scripture
parking spot---------------- Salvation through Jesus Christ
restaurant --------------- Only one God
Paul did not give in just to have peace!
Barnabas did not give in just to have peace!
Paul took a stand for what he thought was right!
Barnabas took a stand for what he thought was right!
This is not easy to do, look at what choice BOTH PAUL and BARNABAS were making in this discussion.
There were not just two people in an argument....
They were very close friends and good people.
Barnabas was a good person
Acts 11:23–24 KJV 1900
23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. 24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
Barnabas was a foundational member of the first church
Acts 4:34–37 KJV 190034 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. 36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, 37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Acts 4:36–37 KJV 1900
36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, 37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Barnabas was an encourger by name
Barnabas stood up for Saul in Jerusalem
Acts 9:26–30 KJV 190026 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. 29 And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. 30 Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.
Acts 9:27 KJV 1900
27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
Barnabas helped establish the Church in Antioch!
Acts 11:19–24 KJV 190019 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. 20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. 22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. 23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. 24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
Acts 11:22 KJV 1900
22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
Barnabas asked Paul to help in Antioch
Acts 11:25–26 KJV 1900
25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: 26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
Barnabas and Paul served the Lord together
Barnabas travelled with Paul on the first missionary journey
Barnabas taught with Paul in Antioch and Jerusalem
Here is the POINT - They knew each other very well. For years. They worked and served together.

Our sharpest conflicts often come with those that we know and love.

This was not an easy thing for PAUL or BARNABAS.
Conflict when not resolved is causes deep loss and division.
Friendships of lifetime - HURT
Family situations - LOSS
Spousal circumstances - DIVISION - Divorce
The tendency is to strive for peace. When you goal is peace you make compromises that you should not make for the sake of peace.
The goal should be a resolution that does not violate scripture.
Seeking peace for peace sake, just kicks the can down the street and sets you up for problems later on.

Allow God to use conflict for good.

Acts 15:39–41 KJV 1900
39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; 40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.
There are two key outcomes from this conflict.......

#1 God used this conflict to send TWO missionary teams to spread the GOSPEL.

Two teams....

Paul / Barnabas departure map

Paul and Silas team up!
Barnabas and John Mark

#2 God allowed restoration over time

Conflicts do not always get resolved right away.
Sometimes it takes years.....
The Acts of the Apostles (King James Version) A. The Journey Begins in Controversy: A Study on Honest Conflict, 15:36–41

⇒ Mark did redeem himself. He is later seen serving with both Paul and Peter (Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11; Phile. 24; 1 Pt. 5:13).

⇒ Paul spoke affectionately of Barnabas, acknowledging his great ministry in writing to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 9:6).

Colossians 4:10 KJV 1900
10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)
2 Timothy 4:11 KJV 1900
11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
Philemon 24 KJV 1900
24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.
1 Peter 5:13 KJV 1900
13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
1 Corinthians 9:6 KJV 1900
6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
Even in conflict, allow GOD to work it out.
Romans 8:28 KJV 1900
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Your job is to face conflict.
Try to resolve it with compromising Bible truth.
Be careful not to BURN bridges. You do not know what GOD is going to do in the future.

Summary

What did they do right?
They spoke to each other!
They did not post their grievance
They tried to explain their position to each other.
I just did not work out!
They parted ways - but still served God
Later they were restored.

Call to Action

CONFLICT
Face conflict; do not avoid it.
Do not seek peace at all cost.
Allow God to use conflict for good.

Prayer

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