Acts 11

Verse 1 When the news of the happenings of Chapter 10 reached the Jewish believers in Judea, there was great consternation among them.

Verse 2 When Peter returned to Jerusalem the circumcision = Christians of Jewish birth – contended with him.

Verse 3 They accused him of (condemned him for) eating with Gentiles.

They believed that a Gentile had to be circumcised in order to obtain the full blessing of God.

Verse 4 Beginning at this verse Peter gave an account of all that had happened.

He describes his vision of the sheet let down from heaven Verses 5-10.

The appearance of an angel to Cornelius Verse 13.

The arrival of the messengers from Cornelius Verse 11.

The Spirit’s command to accompany them Verse 12.

The pouring out of God’s Spirit on the Gentiles Verse 15-17.

Since God had worked in so many definite ways, to resist or oppose would obviously have been to oppose God.

In his message Peter added several interesting things not given in the previous chapter.

1. He said the sheet came right down to where he was Verse 5.

2. He spoke of fastening his eyes upon it and considering it carefully Verse 6.

3. He tells that when the Spirit ordered him to accompany the servants of Cornelius he was to go “nothing doubting.”

That is he was to make no distinction—he was not to discriminate against the Gentiles Verse 12.

4. Peter also adds that six disciples accompanied him from Joppa to Caesarea Verse 12.

5. In Verse 14 we are told that the angel had promised Cornelius that Peter would tell him words whereby he and his house might be saved.

Evidently Cornelius was not a saved man before Peter’s arrival.

Verse 15-18

Peter says that the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles, just as it fell on us at Pentecost Verse 15.

Then he remembered the word of the Lord that John would baptize with water and that his disciples would be baptized with the Spirit Verse 16.

He then realized that the promise had been partially fulfilled at Pentecost and was now being fulfilled again.

Then Peter faced the circumcision party with this question.

If God did this, who was I to hinder God in His perfect work Verse 17.

After hearing these things there was a complete about-face. Quote Verse 18.

Verse 19-21 The founding of the church in Antioch.

The events recorded here took place before the conversion of Cornelius.

They go back to the persecution that arose about Stephen.

Those who we forced to flee carried the Gospel to Phoenicia—Cyprus—Cyrene a port in northern Africa.

These people preached to the Jews only. Verse 19

Verse 20 Among those who came to Antioch were those who preached to the Gentiles (Greeks).

Verse 21 Blessing accompanied their preaching.

The hand of the Lord was with them.

A great number believed and turned to the Lord.

The introduction of Christianity to Antioch was a great step forward, in the outreach of the church.

Hitherto everything had been centered in Jerusalem and Judea.

Antioch was considered the third city in the Roman Empire at this time.

This was the base from which Paul and his companions went forth to carry the Gospel to the Gentiles. Chapter 13.

Verse 22-26

When the news of the great spiritual awakening reached the church in Jerusalem, they sent forth Barnabas.

We are introduced to him in Acts 4.

We are given his character in Verse 24.

Verse 23 when Barnabas came to Antioch he could see at a glance that the Lord was working mightily among the Gentiles.

He saw the grace of God at work.

He was glad; he exhorted them to cleave to the Lord with great determination. While he was there many were added to the Lord. Verse 24

This work was growing so fast that Barnabas wondered who could help them.

They needed a teacher, a shepherd.

Verse 25 Barnabas remembered Saul of Tarsus.

It was Barnabas who had introduced him to the apostles at Jerusalem Acts 9:27.

The Jews sought to kill him, and they had sent him home to Tarsus. Verse 30 He was there for approximately 8 or 9 years.

Barnabas remembered Saul and felt that his teaching would help the young church, so went and brought him to Antioch Verse 25.

Barnabas and Saul labored for a whole year in the assembly.

The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.

Verse 27-30 Antioch sends help to Jerusalem

The church in Antioch worked in full fellowship with the church in Jerusalem.

The following incident illustrates this.

Certain prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch.

These men were gifted by the Holy Spirit to speak as a mouth piece for God.

They received revelations from the Lord and delivered them to the people.

One of them, Agabus, predicted that a great famine would come to the inhabited earth. It came two years later, A.D. 44.

The believers in Antioch promptly decided to send relief to their Christian brethren in Judea.

This is a touching illustration that the middle wall of partition had been broken down.

The grace of God was manifested in these new converts; every man gave according to his ability—unanimously—spontaneously—proportionately.

The money was sent to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

This is the first mention of elders in connection with the church.