Paul Ashore on Malta

28 Once safely on shore, we(A) found out that the island(B) was called Malta. The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand,(C) they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.”(D) But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.(E) The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.(F)

There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer,(G) placed his hands on him(H) and healed him.(I) When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. 10 They honored us(J) in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.

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No Confidence in the Flesh

Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again,(A) and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs,(B) those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision,(C) we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus,(D) and who put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reasons for such confidence.(E)

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised(F) on the eighth day, of the people of Israel,(G) of the tribe of Benjamin,(H) a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee;(I) as for zeal,(J) persecuting the church;(K) as for righteousness based on the law,(L) faultless.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss(M) for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing(N) Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ(O) and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law,(P) but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness(Q) that comes from God on the basis of faith.(R) 10 I want to know(S) Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings,(T) becoming like him in his death,(U) 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection(V) from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal,(W) but I press on to take hold(X) of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.(Y) 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind(Z) and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on(AA) toward the goal to win the prize(AB) for which God has called(AC) me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Following Paul’s Example

15 All of us, then, who are mature(AD) should take such a view of things.(AE) And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.(AF) 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

17 Join together in following my example,(AG) brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.(AH) 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears,(AI) many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.(AJ) 19 Their destiny(AK) is destruction, their god is their stomach,(AL) and their glory is in their shame.(AM) Their mind is set on earthly things.(AN) 20 But our citizenship(AO) is in heaven.(AP) And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,(AQ) 21 who, by the power(AR) that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies(AS) so that they will be like his glorious body.(AT)

Closing Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for,(AU) my joy and crown, stand firm(AV) in the Lord in this way, dear friends!

Footnotes

  1. Philippians 3:9 Or through the faithfulness of