This section of Acts begs for our attention as we watch the Holy Spirit changing Peter, a very difficult personality before Pentecost. Now he is teachable and quickly learning how broad God’s plan for His church is. When the news reached the apostles “that the Gentiles also had received the word of God” (Acts 11:1), Peter had some explaining to do.
This is where the work of God separates our tendency to please men (even in the church) from giving ourselves wholeheartedly to the work of the Spirit. As we see in this section of Acts, Peter is fully convinced that what he saw and experienced with Cornelius and his household was God’s plan. That made it easy for him to share with the apostles what God was doing, and doing so with powerful evidence and conviction. Let us examine the following verses.
Acts 11:1-18 - “The opposition ____ _______, glorifying God that “the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life” (11:18).
Acts 11:19-30 – God again uses persecution to scatter believers so the message of the gospel reaches Cyprus and Antioch. When the church in Jerusalem hears this, they send ________ who sees “the grace of God…and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose” (1:23).
I have spent more time on this one chapter because of the critical development it gave the church. Are you allowing God’s purpose for the spread of the gospel and establishment of the church to form your heart and mind? How will this translate into ‘ACTSion’ that reflects the Early Church? What people group (ethnos) is God putting on your heart to reach with the pure gospel of grace?
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