Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:10–13
A. As the church grew and multiplied in the first century, it was not long before division began to occur as well.
B. The Scriptures give us valuable insight on dealing with conflict.
I. Division can occur on many levels.
A. It can occur between churches (cf. Romans 11:25–27).
B. It can occur within churches (Acts 20:28–32).
C. It can occur between brethren (Acts 15:36–41).
D. It can occur within families (Mark 3:25).
II. There are many causes for division.
A. Division can arise from simple misunderstandings or from jealousy (Genesis 37:1–4).
B. It can be brought on by pride (1 Corinthians 11:18–22).
C. Division only becomes more painful the longer it goes unresolved (Ephesians 4:26–27).
III. There are many ways to deal with division.
A. David chose to simply ignore a problem in his family (2 Samuel 13:21).
B. Absalom chose to strike back (vv 23–28) and then to run away from the consequences (v 38).
C. Joab sent another to confront his cousin (14:1–14).
D. Even after Absalom’s return, the tension continued to mount (14:24–33), ending in more bloodshed (18:14–15).
A. Problems can be resolved when we do things God’s way.
B. May we always strive “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3)!