GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY IN PAINFUL SEPARATION: Acts 15:36-16:5

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SCRIPTURE

ACTS 15:36-16:5 36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. 

16:1 Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily. 

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. 

DISCUSSION 

1. Have you ever experienced a sharp disagreement that lead to a separation between you and a friend? How can we see God’s work of redemption in John Mark? How should this give you hope? 

2. Was there anything from the sermon, big idea, or Acts 15 that stood out to you, challenged you, or confused you? 

3. How does God take Paul and Barnabas’ failure and work it out for good? How should this give you hope even in light of your failures and sins? 

4. Why do you think Timothy was circumsized, when in Acts 15 the church agreed circumcision is not necessary for salvation? 

5. In what ways can we, today, give up our rights or sacrifice ourselves in order to help other people meet Jesus? What are you going to do now?  

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