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1 And the Apostles, and brethren that were in Iudea, heard that the Gentiles had also receiued the word of God.

2 And when Peter was come vp to Hierusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,

3 Saying, Thou wentest in to men vncircumcised, & didst eate with them.

4 But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order vnto them, saying,

5 I was in the citie of Ioppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, a certaine vessell descend, as it had beene a great sheete, let downe from heauen by foure corners, and it came euen to me.

6 Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw foure footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and foules of the aire.

7 And I heard a voyce, saying vnto me, Arise Peter, slay, and eate.

8 But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or vncleane hath at any time entred into my mouth.

9 But the voyce answered me againe from heauen, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

10 And this was done three times: and all were drawen vp againe into heauen.

11 And behold, immediately there were three men already come vnto the house where I was, sent from Cesarea vnto me.

12 And the spirit bad me goe with them, nothing doubting: Moreouer, these sixe brethren accompanied me, and we entred into the mans house:

13 And he shewed vs how hee had seene an Angell in his house, which stood and said vnto him, Send men to Ioppa, and call for Simon, whose sirname is Peter:

14 Who shall tell thee words, wherby thou, and all thy house shal be saued.

15 And as I began to speake, the holy Ghost fell on them, as on vs at the beginning.

16 Then remembred I the word of the Lord, how that he said, Iohn indeede baptized with water: but ye shall be baptized with the holy Ghost.

17 Forasmuch then as God gaue them the like gift as hee did vnto vs, who beleeued on the Lord Iesus Christ: what was I that I could withstand God?

18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance vnto life.

19 Now they which were scattered abroad vpon the persecution that arose about Steuen, trauailed as farre as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none, but vnto the Iewes onely.

20 And some of them were men of Cyprus, and Cyrene, which when they were come to Antioch, spake vnto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Iesus.

21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number beleeued, and turned vnto the Lord.

22 Then tidings of these things came vnto the eares of the Church, which was in Hierusalem: and they sent foorth Barnabas, that hee should goe as farre as Antioch.

23 Who when hee came, and had seene the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleaue vnto the Lord.

24 For he was a good man, and full of the holy Ghost, and of faith: and much people was added vnto the Lord.

25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seeke Saul.

26 And when he had found him, he brought him vnto Antioch. And it came to passe, that a whole yeere they assembled themselues with the Church, and taught much people, and the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

27 And in these dayes, came Prophets from Hierusalem vnto Antioch.

28 And there stood vp one of them, named Agabus, and signified by the spirit, that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to passe in the dayes of Claudius Cesar.

29 Then the disciples, euery man according to his abilitie, determined to send reliefe vnto the brethren which dwelt in Iudea.

30 Which also they did, and sent it to the Elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

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Commentary for Acts 11

Peter's defence. (1-18) The success of the gospel at Antioch. (19-24) The disciples named Christians, Relief sent to Judea. (25-30)1-18 The imperfect state of human nature strongly appears, when godly persons are displeased even to hear that the word of God has been received, because their own system has not been attended to. And we are too apt to despair of doing good to those who yet, when tried, prove very teachable. It is the bane and damage of the church, to shut out those from it, and from the benefit of the means of grace, who are not in every thing as we are. Peter stated the whole affair. We should at all times bear with the infirmities of our brethren; and instead of taking offence, or answering with warmth, we should explain our motives, and show the nature of our proceedings. That preaching is certainly right, with which the Holy Ghost is given. While men are very zealous for their own regulations, they should take care that they do not withstand God; and those who love the Lord will glorify him, when made sure that he has given repentance to life to any fellow-sinners. Repentance is God's gift; not only his free grace accepts it, but his mighty grace works it in us, grace takes away the heart of stone, and gives us a heart of flesh. The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit.

19-24 The first preachers of the gospel at Antioch, were dispersed from Jerusalem by persecution; thus what was meant to hurt the church, was made to work for its good. The wrath of man is made to praise God. What should the ministers of Christ preach, but Christ? Christ, and him crucified? Christ, and him glorified? And their preaching was accompanied with the Divine power. The hand of the Lord was with them, to bring that home to the hearts and consciences of men, which they could but speak to the outward ear. They believed; they were convinced of the truth of the gospel. They turned from a careless, carnal way of living, to live a holy, heavenly, spiritual life. They turned from worshipping God in show and ceremony, to worship him in the Spirit and in truth. They turned to the Lord Jesus, and he became all in all with them. This was the work of conversion wrought upon them, and it must be wrought upon every one of us. It was the fruit of their faith; all who sincerely believe, will turn to the Lord, When the Lord Jesus is preached in simplicity, and according to the Scriptures, he will give success; and when sinners are thus brought to the Lord, really good men, who are full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, will admire and rejoice in the grace of God bestowed on them. Barnabas was full of faith; full of the grace of faith, and full of the fruits of the faith that works by love.

25-30 Hitherto the followers of Christ were called disciples, that is, learners, scholars; but from that time they were called Christians. The proper meaning of this name is, a follower of Christ; it denotes one who, from serious thought, embraces the religion of Christ, believes his promises, and makes it his chief care to shape his life by Christ's precepts and example. Hence it is plain that multitudes take the name of Christian to whom it does not rightly belong. But the name without the reality will only add to our guilt. While the bare profession will bestow neither profit nor delight, the possession of it will give both the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. Grant, Lord, that Christians may forget other names and distinctions, and love one another as the followers of Christ ought to do. True Christians will feel for their brethren under afflictions. Thus will fruit be brought forth to the praise and glory of God. If all mankind were true Christians, how cheerfully would they help one another! The whole earth would be like one large family, every member of which would strive to be dutiful and kind.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Acts 11

  • EROMOSELE CLEMENT EHIMARE
    I personally love Peter's humility in explaining to others why he did what he did with the Gentiles. Barnabas was his brothers keeper. Acts 11 also shows that God does not count our sins against us , he love us irrespective of who we are and where we are. just accepting Christ as our Saviour is the access card we need for eternal life. God be praise
  • Teri
    Repenting means changing Your Mind and agreeing with God, He is Wisdom and Truth. If you say you have no sin, you make Him a liar. Why won't you come to Him so that you can be saved? Repent and find rest for your soul!
  • Hazel carty
    Father, I thank you for your Son. for his precious BLOOD that redeem my Soul. thank you for salvation full and free. thank you for the comforter you have place within my Soul ooh father I worship you,
  • Nathi cilo
    peter was true servant of the lord that always was in connection with with the voice of God. The way that Peter responded to the call against the perceptions, the law, creeds of the Jews is a perfect type to the church that we ought to be moved by the spirit and not man made ideas, creeds or culture.
  • Steve morrow
    ACTS 11:14 who shall tell thee words whereby thou and thy house shall be saved JOHN 5:34 but I receive not testimony from man but these things I say that you might be saved TITUS 2:11for the grace of GOD that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men --2:12-- teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live soberly righteously and godly in this present world
  • Steve morrow
    ACTS 11:14 who shall tell thee words whereby thou and thy house shall be saved JOHN 5:34 but I receive not testimony from man but these things I say that you might be saved TITUS 2:11for the grace of GOD that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men --2:12-- teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live soberly righteously and godly in this present world

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