Summary: There will be disputes. that is not the important part. How we handle them is what matters.

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Galatians 2:1-21

How To Settle Disputes


A. As long as we are human, we will have disputes

B. We will have arguments

C. We will have disagreements

D. There was a small town in Tenn. With a Church whose name was “left foot Baptist” a young seminary student saw the sign and was curious about the name of the church. So he asks someone where the name came from. A church used to regularly practice foot washing. An Argument broke out about which foot should be washed first. Well one group thought it was the left foot. They took their group and started their own church and called it “left foot Baptist church”

E. A division like that might be funny if it weren’t so tragic

F. The question is then how do we settle disputes.

G. Today we are going to look at how to settle disputes

H. We are going to examine 3 keys to effectively handling disputes

a. Privately at First

b. Agree to Disagree

c. Let Them Have It

I. (1-5) Privately at First

A. Explanation

1. The apostles lived in Jerusalem.

2. Therefore Jerusalem become the headquarters of the Christian Church

a) If you want to think of this in terms of the Christian and Missionary Alliance the is the equivalent of Colorado Springs, where the headquarters is located

3. Paul went to Jerusalem to have a little “Chat” with the head honcho’s

4. Now this was a “Conference” that the head honcho’s set up to put an end to the whole circumcisions controversy

a) Now understand, circumcision back then meant a whole lot more then it does today, Circumcision was how you could tell if someone was a Jew or a Gentile, it meant everything to the Jewish community

5. The questions was does a gentile have to be circumcised to be saved

6. So Paul went there, but notice how the Bible says that he went, (Vs. 2) But I did this privately

7. Now if you think about Paul’s feelings, he was amazed at that fact that he had to deal with this issue

8. Paul, could not understand how you could distort the Gospel of Grace to include something like Circumcision

9. Salvation is found through faith in Christ finished work, nothing more nothing less

10. I can picture Paul sitting there thinking “I cant believe I have to deal with this” at the same time he was concerned about it

11. You notice in verse 2 he says if they add circumcision to the requirements for salvation, then everything that he did would become useless

B. Application

1. Now what does this passage teach us about how to handle disputes

2. Take a look what Paul did

3. He found out that there was a problem

4. Rather then just getting up and saying childish things like “You guys are a bunch of dummies”

5. Rather then telling everyone why he was right and the “leaders” were wrong

6. He meant with them, PRIVATELY!

7. He choose to meet with them privately so not to create a controversy that would cause a lack of unity in the Church

8. If you have a problem with someone, go to them privately and talk you problem out

9. Do not drag the whole world into it.

10. The first step is to settle it privately as to not create disunity

C. Illustration

1. I expect if you ever have a disagreement with something I say or do, that you come directly to me

2. There is nothing more damaging to a church then people who tell everyone else about a problem they have with someone else

3. You have a problem; you have a disagreement, try to settle it first.

4. Now not all things can be settled this way, There will be sometimes when issues will never be decided that brings us to our 2nd point

II. (6-10) Agree to Disagree

A. Explanation

1. The one thing that Paul never wanted to do is create a division in the Church

2. To create another denomination if you will

3. Paul wanted to maintain unity in order to advance the Gospel

4. Now reading these 5 verse you get an interesting sense that Paul did his best to give his public support of the Jerusalem console

5. After their “conference” I do not think that Paul and the Apostles went to Quaker Steak and Lube to celebrate their decision

6. They untimely did all agree that Salvation was by faith and faith alone

7. However, they were not close friends

8. Put in the spirit of unity they laid hands and Paul and Barnabas and released them to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles

9. What you have here is two very distinct groups, laying down their personal preference and persevering unity

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