October 30, 2013
Reference: Acts 14:1-2
Topic: “Internal Affairs”
The lesson aim is to raise awareness about the internal struggles to hinder spiritual growth. More importantly, we must learn how to “read” people without jumping to conclusions or becoming defensive toward others. (Ephesians 6:11-12) The divisive work being done within the church is by design. The opposition is not about people. However, the main objective is to prevent sinners from being converted and becoming followers of Christ.
This lesson is not an indictment against the church. Nor is it designed to cast a cloud of doubt over the church or challenge its mission. However, there are yet realities that suggest that some people inside the building (church house) are not working for the Lord. The assignment that Paul and Barnabas had been given was in full swing. (Read Acts 14:1) Both men were willing to put aside their differences and work together toward the building of God’s kingdom. (Acts 13:2-3) The Ephesians 4:12 agenda is designed to grow people. The indictment against today’s church questions the intentions of the heart of those who claim to know the Lord, but their actions don’t concur.
The enemy works in contrast, that is in the flesh, to the Lord to break our stride toward spiritual renewal through transformation. (Romans 7:18-19; 12:2) There are several major acts in the text that should raise a number of concerns.
First, why would anybody want to challenge a good work that has been ordained to change lives?
Secondly, how do we know what to look for when assessing the maturity of other believers? (verse 2 – “the unbelieving Jews”)
Thirdly, how do we protect the new converts from those sent to turn them away from the truth?
The church is the workshop for developing and training Christian soldiers. We must be diligent in our pursuit of God’s righteousness and the indwelling of HIS spirit.