Acts 11 Outline
– The people criticized Peter after they heard him enter into the house of Cornelius, a gentile (Acts 11:1-3)
– Peter explained his action by telling them about the vision God gave him and how the Holy Spirit filled the people as he began to preach to them (Acts 11:4-17)
– The people praised God that salvation has also come to the Gentiles (Acts 11:18)
– The Jews scattered throughout Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch only preached to the Jews (Acts 11:19)
– The Jews from Cyprus and Cyrene brought the gospel to the Greeks in Antioch (Acts 11:20-21)
– The church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to Antioch (Acts 11:22-24)
– Barnabas and Saul preached together in the church in Antioch (Acts 11:25-26)
– Agabus prophesied about a severe famine that will take place throughout the Roman Empire (Acts 11:27-28)
– The disciples contributed their gifts for the needy to the elders through Barnabas and Saul upon hearing Agabus’ prophesy concerning the severe famine (Acts 11:29-30)
Acts 11 Summary
When the apostles and brethen heard that Cornelius and his household had been baptized, they criticized Peter for entering into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them. Then, Peter explained to them about the vision that God gave him. In the vision, Peter saw a large sheet that contain all kinds of animals was being let down from heaven onto the earth. A voice instructed Peter to get up and kill and eat but Peter refused because he had never eat anything unclean. The voice then said what God had made clean should not be called unclean. This happened 3 times and then the large sheet was being carried up into the heaven.
God is telling Peter through the vision that the Gentiles and Jews should be treated in equality, as God has accepted them. The gospel is not just for the Jews but also for the Gentiles. Then, Peter and 6 brothers went to the house of Cornelius. As he started preaching, the Holy Spirit fell on them. When this happened, Peter remembered that Jesus said John baptized with water but we must be baptized with the Holy Spirit. When they heard what Peter said, they praised God because God has also give eternal life to the believing Gentiles.
The Jews who had been scattered to Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch only preached the gospel to the Jews. However, The Jews from Cyrprus and Cyrene preached the gospel to the Greeks. God was with them and many people came to the faith in Jesus Christ.
Barnabas was sent to Antioch when the news reached the church in Jerusalem. Barnabas was a kind man. He was full of the Holy Spirit. He led many people to faith in Jesus Christ. Later, Barnabas looked for Saul in Tarsus and he brought him to Antioch. Barnabas and Antioch preached toegether in the church at Antioch. The believers were first called Christians at Antioch.
At this time, a prophet called Agabus prophesied that there will be a severe famine in the whole Roman territory. This occurred when Claudius was the king of Roman. The disciples decided to help the needy by sending their gifts to the elders through Barnabas and Saul.
Acts 11 Bible Study
1. The gospel is for all the nations in the world
In Acts 11:1-18, the apostles and brethren in Judea criticized Peter after they heard him entering into the house of Cornelius, who was a gentile. Peter explained his actions by telling them about the vision of the large sheet that contains all kinds of animals being let down from heaven. God gave Peter the vision to tell him God does not treat the Gentile as unclean, although the Jewish nation is the first nation that God chose to be his people. The people then praised God. The gospel is for all the nations in the world. Anyone who believe in Jesus Christ can be saved. In Romans 10:9, anyone who confess Jesus as Lord and believe in his heart that Jesus Christ has raised from to life from the dead on the third day can be saved. In Romans 10:13, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
2. Christians are imitators of Jesus Christ
In Acts 11:26, it was at Antioch that the disciples of Jesus Christ were called Christians. Christian is a title given to the follower of Jesus Christ. As the follower of Jesus Christ, we must imitate Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 5:1; Colossians 2:11). We must grow into more and more of the likeness of Jesus Christ every day. Christians must die to their old self, our bad habits and live a new life in Christ (Romans 6:6)
3. Give generously
In Acts 11:27-30, the disciples contributed generously to the needy after they heard Agabus prophesied that there will be a severe famine in the entire Roman empire. We must always help one another. The first commandment in the bible is to love God with all your heart, soul and mind. The second most important commandment is to love others as much as you love yourself. We must never reject those who ask from us. In 1 Timothy 6:18, we should do good, be rich in good works, ready to distribute and willing to communicate. In Exodus 35:5, we should give our offerings to God with a willing heart. In Psalm 37:21, the wicked borrow and don’t pay back but the righteous give generously. In 2 Corinthians 9:7, we should give according as we have determined in our hearts, not grudgingly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver.