Acts Chapter 11

March 29, 2011

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on the Book of Acts. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

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Acts Chapter 11 from Preaching In Shorts on Vimeo.

Acts 11:1-30 (NIV)
1 The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3 and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.” 4 Peter began and explained everything to them precisely as it had happened: 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. 6 I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7 Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ 8 “I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9 “The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ 10 This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again. 11 “Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. 12 The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. 14 He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’ 15 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?” 18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.” 19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. 22 News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. 25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. 27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.
28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29 The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

Acts 11:1-4

The response from the Jewish believers regarding Peters ministry to the gentile was quite intense. Beyond just preaching to them, Peter had eaten with them which was a sign of acceptance. This did not sit well with “circumcised believers”.

Acts 11:4-18

Peter tells the circumcised believers the details of the events that had occurred in his encounter at the house of Cornelius.

Peter’s words in verse 17 are significant.

17 So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?”

This seems to settle it for the circumcised believers in verse 18:

18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

These events mark a significant change in the church. From this point forward, the church will actively seek out gentile converts.

Acts 11:19-20

The Good News of Jesus now begins to spread into Gentile lands like Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch. Antioch was a significant stepping stone for the church. It was the third largest city in the Roman Empire, and the ministry was started by unnamed disciples of the faith.

Acts 11:21-24

This was such a big deal that it caught the attention of the church in Jerusalem over 300 miles a way. In response to the news, the church in Jerusalem send Barnabas to check things out. Barnabas goes to Antioch and comes to the conclusion that God was at work in Antioch. Barnabas is described as:

he was a good man, he was full of the Holy Spirit, and he was full of faith (this is very similar to the description we saw of Stephen in Luke 6:5).

Acts 11:25-26

The church in Antioch is growing and thriving and Barnabas realizes he could use some help, and so he goes to Tarsus, finds Saul (Paul) and together they work together building the Antioch church.

Acts 11:26

Barnabas and Saul ministered there for a full year and the church was continuing to grow. Check out the growth of the church:

Acts 2:41 (NIV)
41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Acts 2:47 (NIV)
47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 4:4 (NIV)
4 But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.

Acts 5:14 (NIV)
14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.

Acts 6:1 (NIV)
1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.

Acts 9:31 (NIV)
31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.

Acts 11:21 (NIV)
21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

Acts 11:24 (NIV)
24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

Jesus’ disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. This is significant because it means that the church is being recognized as a distinct group and is becoming more and more separated from Judaism.

Acts 11:27-30

A prophet named Agabus talks about a coming famine that will impact the entire Roman world. In response to this, the church in Antioch decides to provide help for the church in Jerusalem and sends this support to them with Barnabas and Saul.

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