Introduction and Prayer
Have you ever gotten in a fight with someone that you loved? Did you end up saying things that you regretted? How would you go back and change the argument if you had the chance?
Read Proverbs 26:4-5
Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are. 5Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.
Is Solomon saying to answer a fool or don’t answer a fool?
Why the seemingly contrasting statements?
Have you been in a situation or read a post where someone was ranting insensibly? Why did you stay quiet and avoid the response?
Have you been in a similar situation where you didn’t stay quiet? Why did you finally respond?
Read Acts 15:1-2
While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 Paul and Barnabas disagreed with them, arguing vehemently.
What does circumcision represent to the Jewish people?
Why did Paul and Barnabas argue vehemently with these men?
Read Ephesians 2:8-10
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Why did God save us?
Why do we not boast about our salvation?
Why is it so easy to think that it is grace + performance that saves us?
Are we called to be obedient? Why?
Does our obedience gain us a better position with God? Does God reward obedience?
If you have children, have you ever rewarded their obedience?
Does God have a plan for our lives?
Read Acts 4:32-37
32 All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. 33 The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. 34 There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them 35 and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need. 36 For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. 37 He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.
What kind of man was Barnabas?
Do you remember how Barnabas treated Paul before the disciples trusted him?
Read Acts 9:26-27 26 When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! 27 Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus.
Do you know people like Barnabas—people who easily forgive and extend grace?
Read Acts 15:36-41
36 After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” 37 Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. 38 But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. 39 Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. 40 Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care. 41 Then he traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there.
Do you remember what happened in Acts 13:13-14?
Why did Paul disagree with Barnabas?
How does Luke describe their disagreement?
How did they reconcile their differences?
What happened as a result of this argument?
Have you ever had a disagreement with a brother/sister in Christ? Could you find a solution?
Think on This…
Can you have a disagreement without sinning? What does an argument look like without sinning?