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Peter And The Judaizers




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Acts 11

Peter explains his conversion of Cornelius to the Jewish brothers
Now the apostles and the brothers that were in Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 And when Peter had arrived in Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision criticized him, saying: 3 You went in to men uncircumcised and ate with them! 4 But Peter began to explain it all to them in order.
   5 I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, a certain vessel descending, as it were a great sheet let down from heaven by four corners; and it came down even to me. 6 Looking at it closely, I saw the fourfooted beasts of the earth and wild beasts and creeping things and birds of the sky. 7 And I heard a voice saying to me: Rise, Peter. Kill and eat. 8 But I said: Not so, Lord. For nothing common or unclean has ever entered into my mouth. 9 But a voice answered the second time out of heaven: What God has cleansed, do not make common. 10 And this was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven. 11 And then three men stood before the house in which we were, having been sent from Caesarea to me. 12 And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man's house. 13 And he told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying: Send to Joppa and fetch Simon, whose surname is Peter, 14 who shall speak to you words, whereby you shall be saved, you and all your household. 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, even as on us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said that John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit. 17 If then God gave to these the same gift as He also gave to us, when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I, that I could oppose God?
   18 And when they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying: Then to the Gentiles also has God granted repentance to life.

The church in Antioch
19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they reached Antioch, spoke to the Gentiles also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
   22 And the report concerning them came to the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas as far as Antioch. 23 Who, when he had arrived and had seen the grace of God, was glad; and he encouraged them all, that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. 24 For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith; and many people were added to the Lord.
   25 And he went to Tarsus to seek out Saul. 26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And it came to pass, that for a whole year they were gathered together with the church and taught many people; and there, in Antioch, the disciples were first called Christians.
   27 Now in these days there came down prophets from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them, named Agabus, stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world. This took place in the days of Claudius. 29 And the disciples, every man according to his ability, decided to send relief to the believers that lived in Judea. 30 Which also they did, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.


11:3 Considering that Jesus had clearly commanded to go and preach to the Gentiles (Mk. 16:15,16), the early believers [who were all Jews] were very slow to grasp the fact that in Christ, Jew and Gentile now meant nothing. We too are at times very slow to grasp the most basic teachings of Jesus, because our culture and background is so against those teachings.

11:14 Whereby- Faith and salvation are dependent to some degree upon the preaching of the word to people (1 Cor. 15:2,11). This is why sharing God’s word with others is so important, and why we should respect those who preached the Gospel to us.

11:19.20 Bad experiences often work out so that the Gospel is spread wider (Phil. 1:12). Perhaps, in this case, if the Jewish believers had gone out into the Gentile world with the Gospel, they wouldn’t have needed this persecution?

11:23 Purpose of heart... cleave – Belief and baptism are a beginning, but we must focus our hearts [i.e. our minds] on the Lord- “cleave” is the language of a person leaving their parents and ‘cleaving’ to their partner in marriage (Gen. 2:24). We are married to Jesus by baptism, He becomes the focus of our lives.