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August 23, 2015 - Irreconcilable Differences - Acts 15:36-41

posted Aug 24, 2015, 2:38 PM by Grant Garber
  • The Bible doesn’t claim that Christians should avoid conflicts, and it doesn’t even tell us much about how to resolve them.  What it does tell us is how to live with conflict.
  • The early church was quite accustomed to conflict.  This spat between Paul and Barnabas was no big deal.  The big deal was fulfilling their mission of talking about Jesus.
  • The mission, the purpose of your life and mine is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.  If you find that all of your energy and joy is being sucked away by your conflicts, you are missing the point of your life.  
  • God’s will is about God’s choices.  And God will use our choices, even the conflicted ones, to fulfill the mission of Jesus Christ with us.
  • There is a unity that comes not from consensus, and not even from the will of the majority, but from the common salvation we all have in Jesus Christ.
  • Christ’s church can be defined only at the center, where He alone is found, and that center is strong enough to hold the church together.  
  • Our unity isn’t found in agreement.  Not even in agreement about extremely important moral or justice issues.  Our only source of unity is the grace of Jesus Christ – to which we all cling for our only hope. 
  • God is using even this “troubled sea” to lead us, and those with whom we are conflicted.  And this is God’s mission.  
  • Since we believe God’s will ultimately prevails, we are free…. 
    • To develop humbly the most thoughtful position we can in a debate. 
    • From having to prevail ourselves when our position conflicts with the beliefs of other thoughtful Christians.
    • To commend those with whom we disagree to the grace of God, and return to our mission of knowing and enjoying God.
Pastor Jim Spon | Acts 15:36-41

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