“On Location with Luke”-31

Highlights in Acts-Chapter 11

Those who cherished the rite of circumcision, and who undoubtedly considered themselves bettert than others who were uncircumcised and who also viewed themselves as defenders of their religion, challenged Peter. What was the meaning of his "hobnobbing" with Gentiles? How could he do such a thing? Peter then gives a detailed account of the remarkable way that God worked in all involved in this outpouring of His grace.  To their credit, they believed Peter and "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying 'Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.'" (Verse 18). Next, Luke records that those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled some distance, including to Antioch. As they had opportunity, they preached but only to Jews. Some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene who, when they came to Antioch, preached Jesus to the Grecians. "And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord" (Verse 21). The news reached the church in Jerusalem and Barnabas was sent to check this out. Barnabas was thrilled and exhorted these new converts to cleave to the Lord with purpose of heart. Barnabas was a Spirit filled man and a man of faith. He led many to the Lord while on this trip. Barnabas left and went to Tarsus for the purpose of finding Saul. When he located him, they came back to Antioch together and spent a year being involved in the church there and teaching many people. Then follows an interesting statement: "And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." (From Verse 26). Selah! It was said as a term of derision but the disciples considered it "a badge of honor!" Do we?   Ron

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