Christians often have a hard time getting along with each other. This has been true from the earliest days of the church. The Apostle Paul, who planted the church in Corinth, wrote 1 Corinthians to the believers there principally because of internal conflict in the church. By the time Paul wrote 2 Corinthians, the tension was largely between Paul and the church. Even in a healthy church, such as the one in Philippi, conflict was a problem. The scripture is not silent about this reality. Jesus teaches us what to do if someone in the church sins against you (Matthew 18:15-17); he teaches us what to do if you sin against someone (Matthew 5:21-26), and Paul teaches us what to do when another Christian sins (Galatians 6:1).
Dr. Mark D. Roberts unpacks these passages of scripture and their application for the 21st Century Church in his blog series, God’s Guidance For Christians In Conflict. He says,
“This is one blog series I wish were completely unnecessary. I wish conflict among Christians were a relatively insignificant problem. I wish we who believe in Jesus could experience the unity he commended to us (John 17:20-24). I wish there wasn’t animosity within churches and denominations. But all of this is, I admit, wishful thinking. The fact is that Christians often have a hard time getting along with each other.”
He then, with the skill of a gifted expositor, provides case studies of conflict in the early church. He expounds upon the teaching of Jesus and Paul, applying the timeless principles of God’s Word to the 21st Century Church with practical insights and helpful suggestions.
Having taught through this study in the local church and in at least one pastor’s conference abroad, I highly recommend this study to pastors and parishioners alike. Pastors will find the rich exposition of the scripture to be refreshing, revitalizing, and renewing. It will provide excellent content for “preventive maintenance” in the local church, communicating biblical guidelines for the pastor to follow when responding to interpersonal conflict in the church. Parishioners will benefit from the study of this subject, through the lens of holy scripture, as these principles are memorized and then applied in one’s personal life, thereby promoting the fellowship of the church.
To access this teaching series please click on the following link:
The Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a pastor, author, leader, speaker, blogger, and consultant for Christian organizations. Currently, Mark is the Executive Director of the Max De Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. In this role, he provides visionary, strategic, and tactical leadership for the Center, which seeks to serve leaders so they might flourish in life and leadership. In addition to serving leaders directly, the De Pree Center helps churches so they might encourage, teach, mentor, form, and support marketplace leaders. Part of Mark’s work for the Center involves serving leaders and churches by writing Life for Leaders, a daily, digital devotional that is emailed to over 5300 subscribers each morning.