Scripture: Acts 11

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READ and STUDY the WORD

Peter Explains His Actions

Acts 11:1-18 (KJV) And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.  2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, 3 Saying Thou wentest in to men uncircised, and didst eat with them. But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying, 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: Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.  And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.  But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.  But the voice answered me again from heaven, “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.”  10 And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven.  11 And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me.  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: 13 And he shewed 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; 14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.”  15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.  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.  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?  18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Questions:

1. What did the apostles and the brothers throughout Judaea hear about the Gentiles (Acts 11:1)?

2. When Peter went up to Jerusalem who contended (criticized) Peter and why did they do so (Acts 11:2-3)?

3. What did Peter tell them about what was lowered from heaven (Acts 11:4-10)?

4. What happened immediately after the sheet was pulled up to heaven (Acts 11:11)?

5. What did the Spirit tell Peter and what did Peter do (Acts 11:12)?

6. What did the man (Cornelius) tell Peter (Acts 11:13-14)?

7. What did Peter say happened then (Acts 11:15-17)?

8. How then did Peter’s brethren respond (Acts 11:18)?

Answers:

1. The apostles and the brothers throughout Judaea heard that the Gentiles had received the word of God.

2. When Peter went up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with Peter because he had met and eaten with uncircumcised men. 

3. Peter said he was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance he saw a vision. He saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where he was.  He looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth – wild beasts, reptiles and birds of the air.  A voice told him to get up and kill and eat.  But Peter replied to the voice nothing impure or unclean had ever entered his mouth.  Then the voice told him, “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” Then Peter said the sheet was pulled up to heaven again.

4. Immediately, three men came to the house where Peter was.

5. The Spirit told Peter not to hesitate but to go with these men.  So six brethren accompanied Peter and they entered into the man’s house who had sought Peter.

6. The man (Cornelius) told them about the angel that appeared to him and told him to send to Joppa for Simon Peter.  That Peter would bring him a message through which he and all his household would be saved.

7. Peter said as he began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on Cornelius and his guests as it had come upon Peter and his brethren. Peter then said, he remembered what the Lord had said about John baptizing with water but how they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Peter said if God gave them (Cornelius and his guests) the same gift as He gave them (Peter and his brethren) who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ who was he to oppose God.

8. They had no further objections and praised God.  They said God had granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.

The Church In Antioch

Acts 11:19-30 (KJV) 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. 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. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. 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 Antioch.  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 Lord.  24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.  25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: 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 in Antioch.  27 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.  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. 29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea. 30 Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. 

Questions:

1. What did those who had been scattered abroad do (Acts 11:19-20)?

2. Who helped these men and what was the results (Acts 11:21)?

3. Who did the church in Jerusalem sent forth (Acts 11:22)?

4. What did Barnabas see and do (Acts 11:23)?

5. How is Barnabas described in verse 24 and what did he do?

6. Why did Barnabas go to Tarsus (Acts 11:25)?

7. What did Barnabas do when he found Saul (Acts 11:26)?

8. What did Agabus, a prophet, predict (Acts 11:27-28)?

9. What did the disciples decide to do (Acts 11:29-30)?

Answers:

1. Those who were scattered traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch telling the message only to Jews.  However men from Cyprus and Cyrene went to Antioch and began speaking to Greeks the good news about the Lord Jesus.

2. The hand of the Lord was with them and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.

3. The church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas.

4. When Barnabas saw the grace of God, was glad and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.

5. Barnabas was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith. Many people were added unto (brought to faith in) the Lord.

6. Barnabas departed for Tarsus to find Saul.

7. Barnabas took Saul to Antioch.  They spent a whole year teaching many people in the church.

8. Agabus predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world.

9. The disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

HEAR the WORD

Acts 11:5 (Peter said), 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 11:27-28 27 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.  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. 

MEDITATE on the WORD

Ponder on the above verses.  Have you ever experienced being in a trance or seen a vision (perhaps had a dream from God)?  Has God ever given you a message (a prophecy) to deliver to the church?

MEMORIZE the WORD

Acts 11:15-16 (NIV) As I (Peter) began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them (the Gentiles) as He had come on us (the Jews) at the beginning.  Then I remembered what the Lord had said: “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

LOVE and LIVE the WORD

We need to seek a strong faith by reading the Word, studying the Word, meditating on the Word, memorizing the Word, loving the Word and living the Word.

TEACH and SHARE the WORD

We need to teach and share the Word with others so their own faith will be strengthened through reading, studying, meditating on, memorizing, loving and living the Word too.

PRAY the WORD

Lord, I pray we will seek to hear from You through whatever method You choose such as trances (v. 5), visions (v.5), preachers (v. 26), teachers (v. 26), prophets (v. 28), and encouragers (v. 29-39). In Christ Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN.

ENCOURAGEMENT

“May you and I share our faith in any way God leads us.” <>< Dona