When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.” —Acts 11:18 ESV
- Glory to God!
The Greek word for “Gentiles” is ethne, and is often translated “nations.” The early church, made up of mostly new Jewish believers in Jesus, could not imagine the full ramifications of what God was doing. Later, the apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2 & 3 about “the mystery of Christ,” that earlier generations did not understand.
… which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (Eph. 3:5-6).
The nation of Israel was God’s chosen people, but now, in Christ, all the nations are on equal standing before God through the cross. God grants repentance and ALL who come in faith and repentance to Christ become a part of His body, made up of both Jews and Gentiles. This concept was nothing short of jaw-dropping! They “fell silent” and “glorified God.”