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Acts - Chapter 11

Bible Study Notes

Acts 11:1-11 News spread that the Gentiles were being saved. The Jews who believed that you must be circumcised to be a Christian argued with Peter in Jerusalem. Peter defended his actions of socializing and eating with uncircumcised people. Peter told them about his vision and how the voice in his vision said not to call unclean what God made clean.

Acts 11:12-18 Peter told them how the Spirit commanded him to go with the three Gentiles to Joppa, and how he took six brothers of the faith with him. He told them how the man in Joppa saw an angel who told him to fetch a man named Simon who is also called Peter and how he would declare a message on how to get saved along with his entire household. Peter said he witnessed the Holy Spirit fall on them when he gave the message just as it did to the Apostles on Pentecost. Peter remembered how Jesus Himself said He would baptize with the Holy Spirit. If this was true, then Peter argued that he had no right to stand in the Lord’s way. Peter convinced them, and they glorified God.

Acts 11:19-24 The persecution of the Church helped spread believers as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch preaching the good news to Jews only, but not all. Some preached to the Hellenists, and a great number of them believed turned to the Lord. When news reached Jerusalem, they sent Barnabas to Antioch to verify, and was glad to see that it was true and encouraged the new believers in their faith.

Acts 11:25-26 Barnabas then journeyed to Tarsus looking for Saul, and when he found him, brought him back to Antioch. They met with the church in Antioch for a whole year and taught them the scriptures. It was in Antioch where believers were first coined the name, “Christians”, A term of ridicule or mockery meaning “of the party of Christ.”

Notes: Find Saul was to be no easy task. Several years had elapsed since Saul fled Jerusalem (9:30). Apparently, he had been disinherited and forced to leave his home due to his new allegiance to Christianity (Phil. 3:8).

Acts 11:27-30 Prophets came to Antioch from Jerusalem. One of them who was called Agabus foretold of the coming of a great famine which took place in the days of Claudius Caesar, Emperor of Rome (a.d. 41–54).. When hearing this, those in Antioch chose to donate their money and give it freely to those who were suffering from the famine in Jerusalem. Barnabas and Saul carried the money to Jerusalem.

Notes: Christian prophets are mentioned elsewhere in Acts (13:1; 15:32; 21:9). Their role involved edification and encouragement as they spoke things that had been revealed to them by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes such prophecies foretold the future, as Agabus did here (see also 21:4, 10–11).

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