Acts 11

Act 11:1 Now the apostles and the brethren who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.
Act 11:2 And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcised took issue with him,
Act 11:3 saying, "You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them."
Act 11:4 But Peter began speaking and proceeded to explain to them in orderly sequence, saying,
Act 11:5 "I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object coming down like a great sheet lowered by four corners from the sky; and it came right down to me,
Act 11:6 and when I had fixed my gaze on it and was observing it I saw the four-footed animals of the earth and the wild beasts and the crawling creatures and the birds of the air.
Act 11:7 "I also heard a voice saying to me, 'Get up, Peter; kill and eat.'
Act 11:8 "But I said, 'By no means, Lord, for nothing unholy or unclean has ever entered my mouth.'
Act 11:9 "But a voice from heaven answered a second time, 'What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.'
Act 11:10 "This happened three times, and everything was drawn back up into the sky.

Here, Peter sets the pattern, if there ever is one, for us to follow when we are called to give an answer. He didn't try to be fancy, he just stated the facts. Though he has been relieved of the burden imposed with the dietary laws, he is careful not to look down his long nose and just tells the simple truth.

Act 11:11 "And behold, at that moment three men appeared at the house in which we were staying, having been sent to me from Caesarea.
Act 11:12 "The Spirit told me to go with them without misgivings. These six brethren also went with me and we entered the man's house.
Act 11:13 "And he reported to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying, 'Send to Joppa and have Simon, who is also called Peter, brought here;
Act 11:14 and he will speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household.'

Act 11:15 "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning.
Act 11:16 "And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'

Here is the weakness of the average Christian today and then, Peter was studied and he committed to memory what he had learned. Now, remember, Peter was an uneducated fisherman, by profession. But he had been seated at the feet of Jesus for three years or better. So it is then that we see Peter calling the words of Jesus into the matter.

Act 11:17 "Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?"
Act 11:18 When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, "Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life."

Here we see that Peter has found a common ground for all to stand upon and rather than to push the point home with force he allows everyone to save face and to reach an agreement.

Act 11:19 So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that occurred in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone.
Act 11:20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus.
Act 11:21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.

Now that Peter had approached them in a God honoring fashion and had gained their ear, he began to preach the truth of the Gospel.

Act 11:22 The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch.
Act 11:23 Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord;
Act 11:24 for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord.

Barnabas has been commissioned by the Church at Jerusalem to check into this matter and, sure enough, a large number of the, afore, hated gentiles have become believers in the One True God.

Act 11:25 And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul;
Act 11:26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

When Barnabas had found Saul, he took him into the Mission Field with him, that God might be glorified. It is, perhaps, worthy to note that I have learned, over the years, that, not only were we first called Christians at Antioch, it was meant to be an insult. (It meant little Christs.) So, not only is the Church persecuted, we always have been.

Act 11:27 Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.
Act 11:28 One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius.
Act 11:29 And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea.
Act 11:30 And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.

And, by this, the standard for Missionary Support was set into place.