Big Idea: Conflict, when properly handled, can be productive, producing greater clarity and direction to proceed.
6 suggests for making wise decisions through conflict:
- There is always a “but” – prepare for conflict
- Determine the significance of the issue (Acts 15:1)
- “you cannot be saved”
- Seek Counsel (Acts 15:2, 6)
- cf. Proverbs 11:14; 15:22
- …from people who are:
- Familiar with you
- Familiar with the situation
- Recognize what God is doing and has done (Acts 15:7-9, 12)
- Search the Scriptures (Acts 15:15-17, 28)
- v. 28 – “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us” – the Apostles claimed divine inspiration in their decision
- Decide and move forward with your decision
Why the requirements in Acts 15:19-21? As a NT Christian is it wrong to eat a rare steak?
– When we examine the full body of work in the NT concerning this issue (Acts 15:21; 16:3; Romans 14; Galatians 5; etc) we come to the conclusion that restrictions of eating food sacrificed to idols and meat from a strangled animal and meat with blood were set in order to not offend members of the Jewish community. Christians know that salvation is by the grace of God alone, through faith, therefore they are allowed to participate in some of the religious customs of the Jews because they mean nothing in regards to salvation. This is a cross-cultural concern meant to promote harmony and avoid any unnecessary conflict.