1) What are some rules that you have been given to live by? What are some rules you have placed on yourself?
2) How good is your word? Do people accept what you say without reservation?
3) What evidence is there that shows you are a Christ-follower? When people look at your life, what do they see that points to your relationship with Christ?
Rules – we all have them. They serve as guardrails to keep us on the right path. But man-made rules were getting in the way of God’s big picture (11:2-3). Peter had heard from God and seen evidence of His moving in the lives of the Gentiles (11:12-15). Now, he rightly concluded that the man-made rules were in the way (11:17).
Peter’s words were clear and his testimony valid. He had demonstrated a life of integrity and now those hearing him were able to fully believe him (11:18). Honesty, integrity and truth are critical so our words will be accepted.
Barnabas was sent to Antioch to see what was happening there (11:20-22). The Bible says he saw evidence of the grace of God (11:23). What did he see? We get an indication from 11:26. It was here in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians – followers of Christ.