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The Scriptorium

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Peter explains.

Acts (10)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27

Be sure to view the video introducing our study of Acts 11 (Lesson 10) by clicking here.

Read and meditate on Acts 11.4-17.
We recall that Peter is an unschooled fisherman, whose only claim to leadership is that he had been with Jesus. But Peter is wise, thoughtful, and persuasive in responding to those who have called into question his actions in Caesarea.

For reflection
1.  Note, first of all, that Peter doesn’t get angry and start throwing his weight around – which is probably what you or I would do in his position: “Who do you think you are, challenging me?” Peter, giving his opponents credit for being reasonable men, simply “explained to them in order” what had happened. How does Peter’s response demonstrate the wisdom of Proverbs 15.1 and Colossians 4.6?

2.  God showed him a vision, which he explained again in detail. He was careful to tell them that this vision came to him three times – three being a very important number in Biblical thought. Next, the men arrived to fetch him. He went with them, as the Spirit commanded him to do, and the rest is history. That story may have seemed a bit far-fetched to some. But this was Peter, and what had these men seen in Peter to make them believe he wasn’t making this up?

3.  Notice Peter’s concluding point: the baptism of the Spirit. John had promised it; Jesus had promised it. And Peter and his challengers had experienced what John and Jesus promised. They were convinced by this that salvation and the Kingdom had come to them. Peter explains that the same thing happened to Cornelius and his household. Who was he, even the chief of the apostles, to try to stand in the way of what God was doing? Look at verse 15. Where does Peter “lay the blame” for what these men considered an outrage? Was he right in doing this? Explain.

4.  With that statement, Peter threw the gauntlet squarely down at the feet of his challengers. Peter would not dare to stand in the way of God and the ongoing work of Christ. Do they? We may not challenge the preaching of the Gospel to certain people. But can we stand in its way in other ways? Explain.

5.  It is possible to speak truth in love – to speak it convincingly and decisively in love. That’s what Peter is doing here. Even when disputes arise within the household of faith, this is no call to arms for a rhetorical punching match, filled with exaggerated claims, ad hominem swipes, and “So’s your old man” snide remarks. Rather, patiently, thoughtfully, and in love, believers must seek to help one another understand the will of God and work to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace (Eph. 4:3). How can we resist the temptation to flare up whenever others challenge our views or practices?

Peter’s challengers may have been all worked up about this situation. But he was calm, patient, and persuasive in relating his experience and observations. Is there a lesson for us here in sharing the Gospel with the people in our Personal Mission Field?

Closing Prayer
“Oh, that My people would listen to Me,
That Israel would walk in My ways!
I would soon subdue their enemies,
And turn My hand against their adversaries.
The haters of the LORD would pretend submission to Him,
But their fate would endure forever.
He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat;
And with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.”

Psalm 81.13-16

T. M. Moore

Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies in Acts.

Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. This is the work of bringing the Kingdom of God to earth as it is in heaven. Read more about the implications of this work in our new book,
The Kingdom Turn (click here).

Please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Or, you can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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