Bible Study (Acts 11:1-18) – Wednesday March 20, 2024

Following Peter’s extended stay in Caesarea with Cornelius and his friends and family to further instruct them in their new faith in Jesus Christ, Peter returned to Jerusalem in Acts 11:2. There, Peter was confronted by those of the “circumcision party,” criticizing him for eating with uncircumcised men (referring to his visit with Cornelius).

Peter explained to these men what had transpired, describing the events in the order that he had experienced them. Peter recounted his trancelike vision where the Lord had revealed to him that he had no right to call common what God had made clean. While this was revealed to him through an array of clean and unclean animals, the implications of it relating to God’s redemptive purposes for all nations were considerable.

He then shared the scenario of the 3 men who arrived at Simon Tanner’s house just as Peter’s vision had ended, and how the Spirit had directed him to go with them, without making any distinction regarding their “uncircumcision.” Peter then recounted how he had traveled to Caesarea with 6 other fellow Christians and how he had declared to them the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As they heard and believed the gospel message, the Holy Spirit had fallen upon them just as the apostles themselves had experienced the indwelling of the Spirit at Pentecost in Acts 2.

Observing firsthand such a marvelous event, Peter remembered how Jesus had Himself said that John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. And so, Peter concluded, if these uncircumcised Gentiles had received the same gift of the Spirit as they had when they believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, how could he possibly stand in the way of God, for it was eminently clear that all of these things were divinely ordained and orchestrated.

Peter’s accusers were reduced to silence as they heard this marvelous story of God’s grace upon the Gentiles. They could not rebut anything that Peter had declared. Instead of doubling down in indignance, they glorified God in Acts 11:18, saying, Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life!” And so it was in the history of God’s salvation that Luke, a Gentile himself, recorded this event in intricate detail to ensure that his readers grasped the extraordinary significance of such an event that truly displayed that God was NOT a respecter of persons and that the gift of repentance and the indwelling Holy Spirit was NOT limited to the Jews.

You can listen to this teaching on Acts 11:1-18 by clicking on the following link: Repentance That leads to Life