Gentile Salvation Defended
1 The apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles had welcomed God's message also. 2 When Peter went up to Jerusalem, those who stressed circumcision argued with him, 3 saying, "You visited uncircumcised men and ate with them!"
4 Peter began to explain to them in an orderly sequence, saying: 5 "I was in the town of Joppa praying, and I saw, in a visionary state, an object coming down that resembled a large sheet being lowered from heaven by its four corners, and it came to me. 6 When 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. 7 Then I also heard a voice telling me, 'Get up, Peter; kill and eat!'
8 " 'No, Lord!' I said. 'For nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth!' 9 But a voice answered from heaven a second time, 'What God has made clean, you must not call common.'
10 "Now this happened three times, and then everything was drawn up again into heaven. 11 At that very moment, three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea arrived at the house where we were. 12 Then the Spirit told me to go with them with no doubts at all. These six brothers accompanied me, and we went into the man's house. 13 He reported to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, 'Send to Joppa, and call for Simon, who is also named Peter. 14 He will speak words to you by which you and all your household will be saved.'
15 "As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came down on them, just as on us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, 'John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' 17 Therefore, if God gave them the same gift that He also gave to us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, how could I possibly hinder God?"
18 When they heard this they became silent. Then they glorified God, saying, "So God has granted repentance resulting in life to even the Gentiles!"
The Church in Antioch
19 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, speaking the message to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, Cypriot and Cyrenian men, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Hellenists, proclaiming the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord's hand was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 Then the report about them reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to travel as far as Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he encouraged all of them to remain true to the Lord with a firm resolve of the heart- 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith-and large numbers of people were added to the Lord. 25 Then he went to Tarsus to search for Saul, 26 and when he found him he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught large numbers, and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
27 In those days some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine throughout the Roman world. This took place during the time of Claudius. 41-54; there was a famine a.d. 47-48. 29 So each of the disciples, according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brothers who lived in Judea. 30 This they did, sending it to the elders by means of Barnabas and Saul.