Acts 15:1-41

Acts 15 describes two kinds of conflicts – one related to doctrine and practice, the other interpersonal. The question of whether Gentile believers should be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses was handled by the council of apostles, elders, and believers in Jerusalem by considering God’s direct revelation, the witness of the Holy Spirit, and the fulfillment of scripture. An accommodation was made for the sake of the Jewish believers. The question of whether John Mark should accompany Paul and Barnabas on their next missionary journey was not as readily resolved. The disagreement between Paul and Barnabas became so heated that they ended up parting ways. Both conflicts provide lessons for us on how to handle conflicts.