Tag Archives: Gentiles

Acts 21- The Gentiles Grafted In

And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: Acts 21:17-20

Paul finally reached Jerusalem and the Christians received him with open arms. Its interesting to note that the Apostle James oversaw the Church in Jerusalem. So when Paul came to Jerusalem , of course he came to speak to James and the other Christians. Paul shared with James how the Gentiles have been grafted into the family of God through Jesus Christ

Of course the orthodox Jews were not happy with the new Gentile believers, because they wanted them under The Law instead of under Grace. If you remember the Council of Jerusalem , back in Acts 15, the Apostles already established that Gentiles did not have to live under the Torah. But again we are going to see this debate again, as we still see this  debate today

And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. Acts 21:21-24

The orthodox Jews were accusing Paul of teaching the Gentiles to forsake the teachings of Moses. These Jews didn’t understand that Moses taught about the coming of Jesus, and they God would raise up someone greater than Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15) The Jews were trying to keep the Gentiles bound to The Law, the same yoke that they were unable to bear themselves

As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.  Acts 21:25-26

Paul taught that the Gentiles are not under The Torah, the Christian Gentiles are to just avoid sexual immorality and not eat any sacrifices to idols. Why? Because Christians live under Grace and are filled with the Holy Spirit. The Law of God is written in our hearts not of stone anymore

Many still today don’t understand that Jesus paid it all, that Jesus fulfilled The Law (Matthew 5:17) so that we can be set free from the penalty of the Law , which is death Amen!

Acts 13- Light of The Gentiles

And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. Acts 13:44-46

Paul and Barnabas began preaching in the synagogues for the next couple of weeks. It says the Jews began to be jealous of the multitude converting to Christ and began to speak blasphemy against the gospel. This event made Paul realize his ministry was directed to the Gentiles, not just Israel. 

As Paul said “Since you reject the Word of God and don’t consider yourselves worthy of salvation, they are turning to the Gentiles” Paul is now understanding the fulfillment of the New Covenant. Israel’s Messiah bring salvation to those who become Born Again, Jew and Gentile

For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. Acts 13:47-49

 Paul quotes Isaiah “I have made you a light of the Gentiles” (Isaiah 49:6) The New Covenant is not a modern day invention, this was prophesied throughout the Old Testament. God would not only save the Jewish people, but He will also graft in the Gentiles through Jesus Christ! As it says the gospel was spread throughout the entire region

But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost. Acts 13:50-52

Obviously persecution was coming for Paul, Barnabas , and all the Christians for preaching boldly about Jesus. However, notice what they did “They shook the dust off their feet” , sound familiar? Yes the same words Christ used (Matthew 10:14) If anyone willingly rejects the gospel , move on as Christ said

Notice even during the persecution is says “The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit” There was no pity party for the early Church, they enjoyed serving Christ the Lord and fulfilling the great commission Amen!

Acts 10- The Gentiles Are Grafted In

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Acts 10:44-46

When Peter began to preach , the Holy Spirit fell upon , not just the Jews but also the Gentiles. This is the New Covenant, and this was a fulfillment of the vision Peter received earlier about God making all things clean. We are now Children of God through Jesus Christ, not Children of God because of our nationality or religion. Its only through Christ that we can be saved and reconciled back to God

It says they were astonished, probably due to the large number of people who became Born Again, but also because they were Gentiles. Christ didn’t come to just save Israel, he came to save the world!

Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. Acts 10:47-48

An interesting event then happened, who can be baptized? Can anyone forbid someone from wanting to be baptized? The answer is no, if someone is called to Christ, let them come to Christ and be baptized. The Gentiles didn’t need to be “Church members” for 6 months or were no newborn babies, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and wanted to profess their faith in Jesus Christ

Another interesting point is the Gentiles were already baptized by the Holy Spirit before being baptized by Water. As we know from Jesus, there are two baptisms, water and the spirit (John 3) The Gentiles received the Holy Spirit and now we’re ready to profess their faith in Christ with water. You don’t have to be one before the other, not everyone’s testimony is the same. We noticed in Acts also there were Christians who were baptized by water yet not baptized by the Holy Spirit yet. 

This is testimony of the New Covenant, Jews and Gentiles becoming One through Jesus Christ! How can this be? Because of the baptisms of Spirit and Water, and the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ , Amen!