Internet Bible Studies
Memory verses for this week: Eph 1:18 The eyes of
your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the
hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his
inheritance in the saints, Eph 1:19
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward
who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.
Introduction: In Chapter 10, we witnessed the conversion of
Cornelius and his family as Peter was given a directive from God to
go and to preach unto the Gentiles.
We saw that after they were saved, they were baptized. We
know today that there is no difference between the Jew or the Greek.
Praise God that he has allowed the Gentiles to partake of the
wondrous gospel of Jesus Christ. All who will come to Christ may be saved.
2:21 And it shall come
to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be
Peterís Defense of His Gentile Ministry
Acts 11:1 And the
apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles
had also received the word of God.
Acts 11:2 And when Peter
was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision
contended with him,
Acts 11:3 Saying, Thou
wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.
happens many times, when we are doing the exact will of God in our
lives, we may face opposition.
And sometimes that comes from our own brethren.
Peter returns to Jerusalem and they of the circumcision (the
Jews), begin to contend with Peter about this.
They accuse him of going in to men uncircumcised and eating
with them. We know the
old traditions forbid a Jew from going into the home of a Gentile.
The Jews truly had nothing to do with those who were not
Jews. But praise be to
God, things changed. Now
all men, of all nationalities and backgrounds, were given the same
equal opportunity to come and worship God in the church. The key was to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
John 4:9 Then saith the
woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest
drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no
dealings with the Samaritans.
know the Samaritan woman at the well marvelled that Jesus even spoke
to her. Jesus was
radically different from the those who had come up with the
traditions of the fathers. The
Jews accused Peter of eating with the Gentiles, and if you remember,
they accused Christ for eating with publicans and sinners.
Be sure that someone will not like what you are doing if you
are fired up for God and really working for Him.
And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house,
behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and
And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples,
Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
Acts 11:4 But Peter
rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order
unto them, saying,
Acts 11:5 I was in the
city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain
vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven
by four corners; and it came even to me:
Acts 11:6 Upon the which
when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted
beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls
of the air.
Acts 11:7 And I heard a
voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.
Acts 11:8 But I said,
Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered
into my mouth.
Acts 11:9 But the voice
answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not
Acts 11:10 And this was
done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven.
goes into the complete explanation and tells them all the things
that had transpired, beginning here with his vision of the sheet let
down from heaven by the four corners.
By telling the whole story, those in Jerusalem could make up
their own minds whether this was of God, or something that Peter had
decided to do on his own. This
was not something Peter had chosen to do, but it was something from
God. As you
remember from last weekís account and also here in verse 8, we see
that Peter vehemently argued to not partake of eating of these
ďuncleanĒ animals. He
was simply trying to do what was right and follow the law to every
Acts 11:11 And, behold,
immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I
was, sent from Caesarea unto me.
Acts 11:12 And the
Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six
brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man's house:
Acts 11:13 And he showed
us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto
him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter;
Acts 11:14 Who shall
tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.
Acts 11:15 And as I
began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the
Acts 11:16 Then
remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed
baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
Acts 11:17 Forasmuch
then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed
on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
points out that it was not he alone that went to Corneliusí house,
but six other brethren also went along.
The bible teaches that there is wisdom in counsel, and
sometimes it is good to have multiple brethren around to validate
things are happening exactly as they are.
This was wise on Peterís part because he was going to do
something that had never been done before.
God was opening up a new and different way, and these
brethren were witnesses that he was doing what God instructed him to
Acts 11:18 When they
heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God,
saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto
know that after Peter was given the opportunity to preach the
Gospel, the Gentiles accepted the message, and God granted them
repentance unto life. I
am so glad he did, because most of us who are studying these
scriptures are not Jews. There
are some, who like Paul, were saved out of their due time.
But the vast majority of Jews still are looking for the
Messiah to come and have rejected Jesus as Lord and Savior.
It is important to know that even though this officially
opened the Gospel to the Gentiles in the New Testament, Gentiles
were part of Godís plan and people all through time.
You will notice that Rahab was a Gentile, and God saved her.
She was the one used to hide the spies and her fatherís
house was all left alive when they came in and took Jericho.
We know God allowed Rahab to be in the ancestry of our Lord
Josh 2:1 And Joshua the
son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go
view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an
harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there.
Josh 2:2 And it was told
the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to
night of the children of Israel to search out the country.
Josh 2:3 And the king of
Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come
to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to
search out all the country.
Josh 2:4 And the woman
took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto
me, but I wist not whence they were:
other verses concerning Rahab.
Rahab became the wife of Salmon.
Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works,
when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another
And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth;
and Obed begat Jesse;
The Church at Antioch (Disciples first called Christians
Acts 11:19 Now
they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose
about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch,
preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
After the Lord gave the church
the great commission, at first they preached only to the Jews.
The persecution that came upon the church scattered them
abroad after the stoning of Stephen. God used this persecution to spread the gospel into all the
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come
upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and
in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the
Acts 11:20 And some of
them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to
Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.
Acts 11:21 And the hand
of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned
unto the Lord.
We see that when the disciples
came to Antioch, that they preached Christ and the gospel to the
Greek speaking Jews, and a great number of them were saved. Why were
they successful? Because
in verse 21 we see that the hand of the Lord was with them.
They were preaching Jesus Christ and him crucified and
is the message that God wants proclaimed from his pulpits, back
then, and also today.
2 Cor 4:3
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2 Cor 4:4
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them
which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ,
who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2 Cor 4:5
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and
ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
2 Cor 4:6
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,
hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the
glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Acts 11:22 Then tidings
of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in
Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as
It was sort of unusual how the
church there in Jerusalem always seemed to send someone to check out
things after they heard that people were saved in another city.
Perhaps it was to be sure that the record was true, and to be
sure that the pure gospel was being preached.
For whatever reason, Barnabas was sent to check out what was
happening in Antioch.
Acts 8:14 Now when the
apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the
word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
Barnabas was an excellent
choice to go. He had an
outstanding reputation in the church at Jerusalem.
And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which
is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the
country of Cyprus,
Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at
the apostles' feet.
Acts 11:23 Who,
when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted
them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the
He found things to be as
he had heard, and that many were saved, and he witnessed the Grace
of God being shown to those in Antioch.
No doubt he saw lives being changed.
We are never the same after we are saved.
2 Cor 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old
things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Cor 5:18
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself
by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of
2 Cor 5:19
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto
himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed
unto us the word of reconciliation.
Acts 11:24 For he
was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much
people was added unto the Lord.
Acts 11:25 Then departed
Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:
Acts 11:26 And when he
had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass,
that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and
taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first
We see from verse 24 that
Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost and faith.
These are the kind of men that Paul told young Timothy to
seek out to teach others.
2 Tim 2:1
Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in
2 Tim 2:2
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many
witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able
to teach others also.
2 Tim 2:3
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus
We see that after Barnabas
left Antioch, he went to Tarsus to seek Saul. (the apostle Paul
after being saved.) We
see from verse 25 that after some had sought to kill Paul, the
disciples sent him to Tarsus, which was his home town.
Since Barnabas was involved in helping Paul escape those who
sought to kill him in Damascus, he knew where to go to get him to
help teach. Note
the term Christians was first used here in Antioch to describe those
followers of Jesus Christ. A
Christian is one who is saved and is following Christ.
But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and
declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he
had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the
name of Jesus.
Paul and Barnabas stayed a
year at Antioch and taught them doctrine in the church. Iím sure this was a great blessing to those
young disciples there in Antioch.
III. The Church at Antioch
Sends Relief to
Acts 11:27 And in these
days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.
Acts 11:28 And there
stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that
there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to
pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.
We see that God used this
prophet to for tell some future events.
In the old testament times (and early on in the New
Testament), God used men to pen down words of events that were going
to happen in the future. Agabus
also was used to tell what was going to happen to Paul at Jerusalem.
And as we tarried there many days, there came down from
Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and
bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost,
So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle,
and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
Agabus declared that there was
going to be a dearth (or famine) throughout all the world. God signified this with His Spirit.
Cor 13:8 Charity never
faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether
there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it
shall vanish away.
1 Cor 13:9
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
1 Cor 13:10
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in
part shall be done away.
We see that God told us that
there would come a time when these things that were done in part
would be done away. This
signifies the completion of the Word of God, which we now have.
Prophecies, tongues, and knowledge without a human tutor
would be done away with.
Acts 11:29 Then
the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to
send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:
Acts 11:30 Which also
they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and
We see that the
disciples at Antioch determined to send relief to their fellow
brothers and sisters in Jerusalem.
This is the first time we read of a people of another country
coming to the aid of someone else.
This offering was sent back by the hands of Barnabas and
Saul. It is
wonderful when Godís people have a loving heart and want to give
to help others.
2 Cor 9:7
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him
give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful
2 Cor 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye,
always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every
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But the path of the just is as the shining light, that
shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Random Acts of Kindness. Each
act spreads, and many will be blessed.