Message 38: Conflict: The Recipe For Great Failure, Or Great Faith

The Book of Acts

By Pastor Chris Brown, October 17, 2020

Conflict: The Recipe For Great Failure, Or Great Faith

When will the conflict end?

Acts 18:1-17

What not to do in the middle of conflict:

Acts 18, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 1 Corinthians 1:1, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 2 Timothy 1:7, Mark 4:35-41

• Don’t keep the .

• Don’t stop .

• Don’t forget your main and .

• Don’t forget the that is .


Support Our Ministry

If you found this message beneficial and you would like to help continue our ministries, we would be grateful for your support. Go to


Weekly Digital Bulletin

The Digital Bulletin can be found at


Life Group Study Questions

For the week of October 18, 2020


Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time or something that caught your attention, challenged or confused you?


  1. How we respond to conflict is often affected by how our family handled it when we were growing up. Which of the following statements comes closest to accurately describing the home you grew up in?

• conflict was avoided at all cost

• conflict was considered no big deal

• conflict usually escalated into heated interactions

• conflict was present but never talked about

• conflict was most often dealt with in a healthy way

• other _______________________

Which of the following comes closest to describing how you usually approach conflict now?

• Run

• Bury your head in the sand

• Fight/Argue

• Get defensive

• Become stubborn

• Listen

• Problem solve

• Panic

• Other ________________

2. God’s message to Paul in this week’s passage was, “Do not be afraid,” which is a very timely message for us today. How have the things you are afraid of or are concerned/worried about changed over the years?


  1. Many of us long for a conflict-free life, but we are aware that conflict is inevitable for everyone except, possibly hermits. This means we need to think in terms of how to respond to conflict in ways that are healthy and consistent with our faith. How could the following passages help us learn to respond to conflict in a more God-honoring way?

Matthew 5:23-25 New International Version (NIV) 23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. 25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.

Matthew 7:3-5 New International Version (NIV) 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Matthew 18: 15 New International Version (NIV) 15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.

Romans 12:18 New International Version (NIV) 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

What challenges do you face in trying to respond to potential conflict in the ways these passages suggest?

  1. Throughout the Book of Acts, we have seen that Paul had a calling to tell people they didn’t have to be spiritually lost. He endured a tremendous amount of conflict, pain and suffering to live out this calling. He knew from personal experience the difference between being lost and being found by Jesus. In Luke 15:1-10, Jesus tells two stories that give us some perspective on His view of spiritually lost people. What similarities do you see in these stories?

Luke 15:1-10 New International Version (NIV) Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. 8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

What lessons do these stories teach us about those who are spiritually lost and God’s attitude toward them?

What do Luke 19:10 and 2 Peter 3:9 add to your understanding of how God wants us to view those who are spiritually lost?

Luke 19:10 New International Version (NIV) 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

2 Peter 3:9 New International Version (NIV) 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

The fact that the synagogue leader, Sosthenes, became a follower of Jesus is a great reminder that Jesus is still committed to “seek and save” the lost even if we don’t think they would be interested. Is there someone in your life you once thought would never be interested in following Jesus who is now a follower of Jesus?

  1. During the Last Supper, Jesus knew how difficult the next few days would be for His disciples as they struggled with fear, doubt and anxiety. He spent most of the dinner conversation preparing them for the challenges that were to come. What stands out to you in the following passages from this conversation that could have provided the disciples with comfort and encouragement?

John 14:1-3, 15-20, 27 New International Version (NIV) “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 16:6-7 New International Version (NIV) 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

Chris mentioned four things not to do in the midst of conflict. How do you see any of these being reinforced in the passages above?

Which of Jesus’ statements is most helpful to you as you potentially face fear and anxiety-producing circumstances in your life?


  1. Jesus is committed to seeking and saving the lost. Is there someone in your life you have a hard time believing will ever be interested in following Jesus? Is there anything you’d like prayer for in regard to your relationship with them?
  1. Looking back on this week’s sermon and study, what is most important for you to remember?



COVID-safe community service projects have been created for your group. To see what our high needs projects are, visit our website at


Find yourself suddenly teaching your kids at home? We have some help for you! Check out our interview with some educational specialists in distance learning to get some encouragement.