Summary: From this text, we get a few ideas of what to do whenever disputes arise in the church. 1- Legalism always leads to trouble 2- Trouble should be handled by the leaders 3- Leaders must always follow God’s Spirit
INTRO.- ILL.- A married couple were arguing with one another. The husband said, "Don’t you remember promising to love, honor and obey me?" His wife, "Yes, but what else could I do, I was in church!"
ILL.- A wife said, "Dear, could I have some spending money?" Husband, "Money, money, money. If you ask me I think you need brains more than you need money." Wife, "I was just asking you for what I thought you had the most of."
ILL.- A husband said to his wife, "We have been married five years and haven’t agreed on a thing." The wife said, "You’re wrong again. It’s been six years!"
We live in a world of dispute and debate. It’s everywhere: at home, at work, in politics, and even in the church!
ILL.- Will Rogers once said, "A fool and his money are soon elected." He also said, "I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." And he said, "The man with the best job in the country is the vice-president. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, ’How is the president?’"
Elaine and I have often wondered why anyone in their right mind would want to be the president of the United States what with all the disputes, headaches and problems!
Brothers and sisters, America’s problems will not be cured by any president but by the prince of peace! If and when Jesus enters into the hearts of people in the US, then and only then will our problems be cured or at least made better.
One of the worst places for disputes and debates is the church. It shouldn’t be but it is. It does happen and it doesn’t matter what church we’re talking about. Christian people are still human. They still have weaknesses and they are tempted to fight and dispute with others.
ILL.- There is a rather large Baptist Church in southern IL but it’s not large any more! It split right down the middle because the preacher got the big head, thinking he was/is some sort of prophet of God. Another Baptist pastor who has known him for a long time said that he lost where he came from, that is, from his roots as a Southern Baptist preacher. Apparently, he did some very strange things, thinking he could do anything and say anything and it caused a big dispute in the church and split it. HOW VERY SAD!
ILL.- I know of another church in TX that asked their preacher to resign because of just one troublemaker in the church. The preacher kept doing his work but finally caved in to the pressure and resigned. After he resigned, the church members were very upset and started calling the elders, wanting to know what was going on. One Wednesday night the elders had a special congregational meeting to answer questions and they discovered that nobody could say anything against their preacher.
The members said they wanted their preacher back in the pulpit. The elders went to the preacher and asked him to stay with the church. He said, "No," and went looking for another church. He ended up moving from TX to South Dakota. Well, guess what? That church didn’t work out.
Apparently, that church was basically run by one man in the church who had some money. The preacher did not please him so in six months he started looking for another church. Now he’s back in TX in another church. WHAT A MESS!
And all because of disputes in the church! All because people wouldn’t learn to work together and some wanted to have "their own way," not thinking about the good of the whole church.
OUR TEXT READS: 1"Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved." 2This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question."
Some people were teaching some things that caused dispute and debate in the church. Were they right or wrong? And what about today? What about disputes in the church today? What can be done?
PROP.- From this text, we get a few of ideas of what to do whenever disputes arise in the church.
1- Legalism always leads to trouble
2- Trouble should be handled by the leaders
3- Leaders must always follow God’s Spirit
I. LEGALISM ALWAYS LEADS TO TROUBLE
1 Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved." 2This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.