PETER VINDICATES HIMSELF BEFORE THE CHURCH IN JERUSALEM
Luke documented this recognition in this pericope because it plays an important role in proving the distinction between Israel and the church and explaining the worldwide mission of the church.
I. PETER PATIENTLY HEARS HIS CRITICISM (VV. 1-3).
a. Peter must face the kind of criticism that Jesus faced (Matt 12:1-8).
b. Peter realized that Jesus foretold this kind of criticism.
II. PETER HUMBLY EXPOUNDS HIS SIDE (VV. 4-17).
a. He submitted to have his case heard, examined, and judged of by the body of the brethren (v.4).
b. Peter stressed particularly God's initiative (vv. v. 8, 9, 12, 15, 16, 17a)
III. PETER’S DEFENSE IS ACCEPTED (v.18).
a. They were convinced, as Peter had been, by the manifest indications of the will of God.
b. They recognized and yielded to God's initiative in this event.
The great truth in this manner established that the doors of the church are opened to the entire Gentile world. It at once changed the views of the apostles and of the early Christians; gave them new, large, and liberal conceptions of the gospel; broke down their long-cherished prejudices; taught them to look upon all people as their brethren; impressed their hearts with the truth. To this truth we owe our hopes; for this, we should thank the God of heaven; and, impressed with it, we should seek to invite the entire world to partake with us of the rich provisions of the gospel of the blessed God.