Encouragement and Conflict
Scripture: Acts 9:26–31
We look at how encouragement and healthy conflict build up the church community and allow us to go out on mission together.
Sermon Text: Acts 9:26-31, Acts 15:36-41
Other Helpful Texts: Acts 9:1-31, 1 Peter 5: 6-7
Paul is a Jew of all Jews. He is still Saul at this point. He had only just been converted after having a miraculous encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul was a vicious persecutor of Christians. In fact, this is the reason he was in Jerusalem. He went there, sanctioned by the chief priests, to look for followers of Jesus to bring them back "bound up" as it said. Paul was not a "likely convert."
Make sure to read this multiple times from the different points of view. - Saul/Paul, Disciples, Barnabas, etc...
Why did Paul try to join the disciples right when he arrived in Jerusalem?
What are the reasons people first enter into a church community?
Why did the disciples resist Paul being a part?
Do you feel their response was warranted?
Do you feel their response was right (as far as the Gospel is concerned)
How would you have resounded?
Why did Barnabas advocate for Paul?
Was it their close friendship?
Was it due to what Barnabas had witnessed?
Barnabas's real name is Joseph. Barnabas was more of a nickname given him by the other disciples. Read Acts 4:36 to see what his nickname meant.
What was the result of Barnabas advocating for Paul?
What can you take away from this?
Barnabas was an encourager?
How would you define encouragement?
I think we think too lowly of encouragement. Read through this text again:
Look at the intentionality and risk involved with being an encourager. Write down where you see this.
Look at the results of one man's encouragement. (Hint: It went well beyond the one person he encouraged.
What do you learn about God in this text?
What do you learn about yourself/mankind in this text?
How does this passage teach the Gospel/point to Jesus?
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