Acts 28 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
On Shore at Malta
28 When we were safe on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The people of the island were unusually kind. It was raining and cold. So they built a fire and welcomed all of us. 3 Paul gathered some sticks and put them on the fire. A poisonous snake was driven out by the heat. It fastened itself on Paul’s hand. 4 The people of the island saw the snake hanging from his hand. They said to one another, “This man must be a murderer. He escaped from the sea. But the female god Justice won’t let him live.” 5 Paul shook the snake off into the fire. He was not harmed. 6 The people expected him to swell up. They thought he would suddenly fall dead. They waited for a long time. But they didn’t see anything unusual happen to him. So they changed their minds. They said he was a god.
7 Publius owned property nearby. He was the chief official on the island. He welcomed us to his home. For three days he took care of us. He treated us with kindness. 8 His father was sick in bed. The man suffered from fever and dysentery. So Paul went in to see him. Paul prayed for him. He placed his hands on him and healed him. 9 Then the rest of the sick people on the island came. They too were healed. 10 The people of the island honored us in many ways. When we were ready to sail, they gave us the supplies we needed.
Paul Arrives in Rome
11 After three months we headed out to sea. We sailed in a ship from Alexandria that had stayed at the island during the winter. On the front of the ship the figures of twin gods were carved. Their names were Castor and Pollux. 12 We landed at Syracuse and stayed there for three days. 13 From there we sailed to Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up. The day after that, we reached Puteoli. 14 There we found some believers. They invited us to spend a week with them. At last we came to Rome. 15 The believers there had heard we were coming. They traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. When Paul saw these people, he thanked God for them and was encouraged by them. 16 When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself. But a soldier guarded him.
Paul Preaches in Rome
17 Three days later Paul called a meeting of the local Jewish leaders. When they came, Paul spoke to them. He said, “My brothers, I have done nothing against our people. I have also done nothing against what our people of long ago practiced. But I was arrested in Jerusalem. I was handed over to the Romans. 18 They questioned me. And they wanted to let me go. They saw I wasn’t guilty of any crime worthy of death. 19 But the Jews objected, so I had to make an appeal to Caesar. I certainly did not mean to bring any charge against my own people. 20 I share Israel’s hope. That is why I am held with this chain. So I have asked to see you and talk with you.”
21 They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea about you. None of our people here from Judea has reported or said anything bad about you. 22 But we want to hear what your ideas are. We know that people everywhere are talking against those who believe as you do.”
23 They decided to meet Paul on a certain day. At that time even more people came to the place where he was staying. From morning until evening, he told them about God’s kingdom. Using the Law of Moses and the Prophets, he tried to get them to believe in Jesus. 24 Some believed what he said, and others did not. 25 They didn’t agree with one another. They began to leave after Paul had made a final statement. He said, “The Holy Spirit was right when he spoke to your people long ago. Through Isaiah the prophet the Spirit said,
26 “ ‘Go to your people. Say to them,
28-29 “Here is what I want you to know. God has sent his salvation to the Gentiles. And they will listen!”
30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in a house he rented. He welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He preached boldly about God’s kingdom. He taught people about the Lord Jesus Christ. And no one could keep him from teaching and preaching about these things.
Ephesians 1-2 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
1 I, Paul, am writing this letter. I am an apostle of Christ Jesus just as God planned.
I am sending this letter to you, God’s holy people in Ephesus. Because you belong to Christ Jesus, you are faithful.
2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Praise God for His Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3 Give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Those blessings come from the heavenly world. They belong to us because we belong to Christ. 4 God chose us to belong to Christ before the world was created. He chose us to be holy and without blame in his eyes. He loved us. 5 So he decided long ago to adopt us. He adopted us as his children with all the rights children have. He did it because of what Jesus Christ has done. It pleased God to do it. 6 All those things bring praise to his glorious grace. God freely gave us his grace because of the One he loves. 7 We have been set free because of what Christ has done. Because he bled and died our sins have been forgiven. We have been set free because God’s grace is so rich. 8 He poured his grace on us. By giving us great wisdom and understanding, 9 he showed us the mystery of his plan. It was in keeping with what he wanted to do. It was what he had planned through Christ. 10 It will all come about when history has been completed. God will then bring together all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 We were also chosen to belong to him. God decided to choose us long ago in keeping with his plan. He works out everything to fit his plan and purpose. 12 We were the first to put our hope in Christ. We were chosen to bring praise to his glory. 13 You also became believers in Christ. That happened when you heard the message of truth. It was the good news about how you could be saved. When you believed, he stamped you with an official mark. That official mark is the Holy Spirit that he promised. 14 The Spirit marks us as God’s own. We can now be sure that someday we will receive all that God has promised. That will happen after God sets all his people completely free. All these things will bring praise to his glory.
Paul Prays and Gives Thanks
15 I have heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus. I have also heard about your love for all God’s people. That is why 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I always remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the glorious Father. I keep asking him to give you the wisdom and understanding that come from the Holy Spirit. I want you to know God better. 18 I pray that you may understand more clearly. Then you will know the hope God has chosen you to receive. You will know that what God will give his holy people is rich and glorious. 19 And you will know God’s great power. It can’t be compared with anything else. His power works for us who believe. It is the same mighty strength 20 God showed. He showed this when he raised Christ from the dead. God seated him at his right hand in his heavenly kingdom. 21 There Christ sits far above all who rule and have authority. He also sits far above all powers and kings. He is above every name that is appealed to in this world and in the world to come. 22 God placed all things under Christ’s rule. He appointed him to be ruler over everything for the church. 23 The church is Christ’s body and is filled by Christ. He fills everything in every way.
God Has Given Us New Life Through Christ
2 You were living in your sins and lawless ways. But in fact you were dead. 2 You used to live as sinners when you followed the ways of this world. You served the one who rules over the spiritual forces of evil. He is the spirit who is now at work in those who don’t obey God. 3 At one time we all lived among them. Our desires were controlled by sin. We tried to satisfy what they wanted us to do. We followed our desires and thoughts. God was angry with us like he was with everyone else. That’s because of the kind of people we all were. 4 But God loves us deeply. He is full of mercy. 5 So he gave us new life because of what Christ has done. He gave us life even when we were dead in sin. God’s grace has saved you. 6 God raised us up with Christ. He has seated us with him in his heavenly kingdom. That’s because we belong to Christ Jesus. 7 He has done it to show the riches of his grace for all time to come. His grace can’t be compared with anything else. He has shown it by being kind to us. He was kind to us because of what Christ Jesus has done. 8 God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift. 9 It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it. 10 We are God’s creation. He created us to belong to Christ Jesus. Now we can do good works. Long ago God prepared these works for us to do.
God’s New Family of Jews and Gentiles
11 You who are not Jews by birth, here is what I want you to remember. You are called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “circumcised.” But they have only been circumcised in their bodies by human hands. 12 Before you believed in Christ, you were separated from him. You were not considered to be citizens of Israel. You were not included in what the covenants promised. You were without hope and without God in the world. 13 At one time you were far away from God. But now you belong to Christ Jesus. He spilled his blood for you. This has brought you near to God.
14 Christ himself is our peace. He has made Jews and Gentiles into one group of people. He has destroyed the hatred that was like a wall between us. 15 Through his body on the cross, Christ set aside the law with all its commands and rules. He planned to create one new people out of Jews and Gentiles. He wanted to make peace between them. 16 He planned to bring both Jews and Gentiles back to God as one body. He planned to do this through the cross. On that cross, Christ put to death their hatred toward one another. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away. He also preached peace to those who were near. 18 Through Christ we both come to the Father by the power of one Holy Spirit.
19 So you are no longer outsiders and strangers. You are citizens together with God’s people. You are also members of God’s family. 20 You are a building that is built on the apostles and prophets. They are the foundation. Christ Jesus himself is the most important stone in the building. 21 The whole building is held together by him. It rises to become a holy temple because it belongs to the Lord. 22 And because you belong to him, you too are being built together. You are being made into a house where God lives through his Spirit.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade to the best Bible Gateway experience! With Bible Gateway Plus, you gain instant access to a digital Bible study library, including complete notes from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and the Believer's Bible Commentary. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.