Gentile Salvation Defended
1The apostles and the brothers and sisters who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. 2When Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him,#Ac 10:45; Col 4:11; 1Tm 1:10 3saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.”#Ac 10:28; Gl 2:12
4Peter began to explain to them step by step: 5“I#Ac 10:9-32 was in the town of Joppa praying, and I saw, in a trance, an object that resembled a large sheet coming down, being lowered by its four corners from heaven, and it came to me. 6When I looked closely and considered it, I saw the four-footed animals of the earth, the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky. 7I also heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’
8“‘No, Lord! ’ I said. ‘For nothing impure or ritually unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9But a voice answered from heaven a second time, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call impure.’
10“Now this happened three times, and everything was drawn up again into heaven. 11At that very moment, three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea arrived at the house where we were. 12The Spirit told me to accompany them with no doubts at all. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we went into the man’s house.#Ac 8:29; 10:23; 15:9 13He reported to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send#11:13 Other mss add men to Joppa, and call for Simon, who is also named Peter. 14He will speak a message to you by which you and all your household#Jn 4:53; Ac 10:2; 16:15,31-34; 18:8; 1Co 1:16 will be saved.’
15“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came down on them, just as on us at the beginning.#Ac 2:4; 10:44 16I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’#Mt 3:11; Mk 1:8; Lk 3:16; Jn 1:33; Ac 1:5 17If, then, God gave them the same gift that he also gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, how could I possibly hinder God?” #Ac 5:39; 10:45,47
18When they heard this they became silent. And they glorified God, saying, “So then, God has given repentance resulting in life even to the Gentiles.”#Rm 10:12-13; 2Co 7:10
The Church in Antioch
19Now those who had been scattered as a result of the persecution that started because of Stephen made their way as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch,#Ac 6:5; 13:1; 14:26; 15:22-23,30,35; 18:22; Gl 2:11 speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20But there were some of them, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks#11:20 Lit Hellenists also, proclaiming the good news about the Lord Jesus.#Mt 27:32; Ac 4:36 21The Lord’s hand was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.#Lk 1:66; Ac 2:47; 9:35 22News about them reached#11:22 Lit reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to travel#11:22 Other mss omit to travel as far as Antioch. 23When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged all of them to remain true to the Lord with devoted hearts,#Ac 13:43; 14:26; 15:40; 20:24,32 24for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit#Lk 4:1; Ac 6:5; 7:55 and of faith. And large numbers of people were added#Ac 2:41,47; 5:14 to the Lord.
25Then he#11:25 Other mss read Barnabas went to Tarsus to search for Saul, 26and when he found him he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught large numbers. The disciples#Ac 6:1; 9:1; 13:52; 14:20; 15:10; 16:1; 19:1 were first called Christians at Antioch.#Ac 26:28; 1Pt 4:16
27In those days some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.#Ac 13:1; 15:32; 1Co 12:28; Eph 4:11 28One of them, named Agabus, stood up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine throughout the Roman world.#11:28 Or the whole world This took place during the reign of Claudius.#Mt 24:14; Ac 18:2; 21:10; Gl 2:2 29Each of the disciples, according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brothers and sisters who lived in Judea.#Rm 15:26; 2Co 9:1-2; Gl 2:10 30They did this, sending it to the elders#Ac 14:23; 15:2; 16:4; 20:17; 21:18; 1Tm 5:17,19; Jms 5:14; 2Jn 1 by means of Barnabas and Saul.