Cornelius (a devout God fearing Gentile) sends for Peter as instructed by an angel. He, his family and friends, all hear the Gospel from Peter (taught by God to not look down on the Gentiles) and the Holy Spirit comes upon those who believe and they are baptised!
If the Truth has yet to become a part of us, we too are in danger of reacting/behaving like “those of the circumcision”!(v3)
Don’t leave details out. Don’t get creative. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak the Truth through you. (v4)
Evidence presented by Peter:
Vision from God (v5-11)
Witness of the Spirit (v12-15, v17)
Witness of the Word (v16)
Don’t oppose a believer because of minor differences. Remember: We are perfect in Christ but still being perfected by Christ through His Spirit! (v17-18)
Antioch (Wiersbe commentary)
Population – half a million, third largest city in the Roman Empire, following Rome and Alexandria
Called “Antioch the Golden, Queen of the East.” – main street four miles long, paved with marble, marble colonnades lined both sides
only city at that time with streets lighted at night
Had all kinds of people, great opportunity for church to evangelise
wicked city, perhaps second only to Corinth
“Antioch was to the Roman world what New York City is to ours” – James A. Kelso (An Archaeologist Follows the Apostle Paul.)
Antioch church sent Paul out to win Gentiles for Christ!
No matter where we go or who we encounter, are we about “preaching the Lord Jesus”, as led by the Holy Spirit? (v20)
When the Lord is with us (His Spirit is working in and through us), God will move in people! (v21)
Is the “grace of God” evident in your life? (v23a)
Are you glad when believers (you know) are bearing good fruit? (v23b)
Do you encourage other believers to keep following Jesus from their heart? (v23c)
Are you “a good man”? (v24a)
Psalm 14:1-3 (see also Psalm 53:1-3, Romans 3:10-12)
Mark 10:17-18 (see also Matthew 19:16-17, Luke 18:19)
Are you “full of the Holy Spirit”? (v24b)
Are you “full of faith”? (v24c)
When the Lord is with us (we are grounded in His Word and His Spirit is working in and through us), God will move in people! (v24, v21)
Barnabas and Saul were friends (Acts 9:26-27). Barnabas knew Saul’s call to minister to the Gentiles(Acts 9:15). (v25-26)
We need to encourage each other to serve the LORD, just like Barnabas sought out Saul to help with the ministry in Antioch.
Christian – Latin suffix -ian means “belonging to the party of.”
“If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” – Dr. David Otis Fuller
Holy Spirit spoke through the prophet Agabus about the famine. (v27-28)
“Ancient writers mention at least four famines: two in Rome, one in Greece, and one in Judea. The famine in Judea was especially severe, and the Jewish historian Josephus records that many people died for lack of money to buy what little food was available.” – Wiersbe (commentary)
What about those who claim to be apostles and prophets today?
Christ is the cornerstone. Foundation is complete. We have the Spirit of God and the Word of God. Do we still keep laying foundations when it’s already been laid? NO.
Matthew 7:15 – Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
1 John 4:1 – Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1 Thessalonians 5:20-22 – 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Warning– Be careful, because not everyone is who they say they are!
Gentile disciples in Antioch send help to their Jewish brothers and sisters in Judea.
Believers gave “each according to his ability” – Pattern for Christian giving today.