Resolving Conflicts Biblically
Daily Bible Reading – Leviticus 7-9; Acts 15
Today’s Key Passage – Acts 15:1-21
The early Christian church was facing a conflict. Some of the early Christians believed that the Gentiles needed to adhere to Jewish law (including circumcision) before they could become Christians. Other early believers did not think it was necessary to become Jewish before becoming a Christian, and therefore thought circumcision was not necessary. If the conflict was not resolved, the early Christian church could have become split into two sects and therefore would have lost a lot of its momentum along the way. In an effort to resolve the differences between them, the two groups came together in Jerusalem to discuss the matter and to determine where the church would stand on the issue. For the first step in resolving the conflict, they allowed both sides to make their case. The converted Pharisees believed in a legalistic religion and wanted to require circumcision for all Gentile believers. Then Peter, Paul, and Barnabas spoke from their point of view and told of their experiences with the Gentiles being filled with the Holy Spirit despite not being circumcised. Finally, James stepped in and compared both arguments to what was said in the Scriptures to determine which direction was more biblically based. In the end, the decision was made that the Gentile believers would not need to be circumcised prior to conversion to Christianity.
Today, when we are faced with conflicts we should resolve them in the same way. Our first step should be to allow both sides to state their beliefs clearly and in an open way. Just because someone’s opinion is different from ours does not give us the right to keep him from expressing it. We should hear him out and allow him to speak his mind. We can then seek the counsel of others who are spiritually mature, such as a Pastor, to get guidance on the issue. Finally, the most important step is to compare both sides of the argument to the Bible. We must always consult God’s Word when resolving conflict, since God is the ultimate authority. When we have difficulties discerning who is correct, the Bible will light the way of the truth. Everyone has his own opinion about what is right and what is correct, but ultimately what matters the most is what God’s Word says. When we seek God’s Word in resolving a conflict, we will always make the best choice.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.