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Working Through Conflict

October 21, 2018

What does the Bible say about resolving disagreements?

After great victories, conflicts may arise (Acts 15:1-35)

  • What is the conflict? (Acts 15:1-5)
  • How do leaders collaborate to address their differences? (Acts 15:6-21)
  • What is the result of Biblical conflict resolution? (Acts 15:22-35)

Next Step: Learn to resolve conflict in Biblical ways…

After a conflict, great victories may come (Acts 15:36-16:4)

  • What is the conflict? (Acts 15:36-41; Colossians 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:11)
  • How do the leaders move forward? (Acts 16:1-5)
  • What happens despite the disagreement? (Acts 16:6-40)

Next Step: When God wins a great victory, how should we celebrate?

Discussion Guide:

Main Idea: Conflict and differences are opportunities for gospel growth if we depend on God’s grace to accomplish his work.


There is a lot of conflict in America today. Why do disagreements arise? What positive and negative aspects of conflict have you observed at work, home or church? How do you handle conflict?

What happened in Acts 13-14 that led to the conflict (15:1-5)? Two questions arose to the church:

  • Does God still require both Jewish and Gentile Christians to keep the Law of Moses?
  • If the Law is preferred for Jewish Christians, should Gentiles keep it in order to have peaceful fellowship with them? Why are these questions important – both then and now?


Read Acts 15:6-35. How did leaders resolve this volatile issue?

  1. What was Peter’s position and why (Acts 15:6-11)? What is required for salvation (15:9-11)?
  2. What did Paul and Barnabas contribute to the discussion (Acts 15:12)?
  3. Who is James, what solution did he propose and why (Acts 15:13-21; Amos 9:11-12)?
  4. When the church unified to resolve this conflict, what was the result (Acts 15:22-35)?

As Paul initiated another missionary journey, what disagreement arose (15:36-41)? When the team divided, who was recruited (Acts 16:1-5)? Why did Paul have Timothy circumcised (1 Cor. 9:19-23)?

Despite disagreement, how did God lead Paul to Philippi and what happened there (Acts 16:6-24)? How did Paul and Silas respond to their imprisonment and what did God do for them (16:25-40)?


Christians and missionaries must decide what lifestyle issues are inconsistent with Scripture and which aspects are acceptable even if they seem strange to Westerners. What are examples?

Does disagreeing and parting company have to lead to anger and broken fellowship? Paul took a hard line on Mark. How did his feelings toward him change with time (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 24; 2 Timothy 4:11)? What lessons can we learn from this conflict?

ASSIGNMENT: After Lydia (Acts 16:12-15) and the Jailer (Acts 16:27-34) were converted, they were baptized. Why is baptism an important mark of Christianity? Have you been baptized? Do you know what it means? Will you consider participating in the next baptism service March 31, 2019?

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