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15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah,[a] the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John,[b] because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’),[c] and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell[d] will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid[e] on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit[f] on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

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Footnotes

  1. 16:16 Or the Christ. Messiah (a Hebrew term) and Christ (a Greek term) both mean “anointed one.”
  2. 16:17 Greek Simon bar-Jonah; see John 1:42; 21:15-17.
  3. 16:18a Greek that you are Peter.
  4. 16:18b Greek and the gates of Hades.
  5. 16:19a Or bind, or lock.
  6. 16:19b Or loose, or open.

Correcting Another Believer

15 “If another believer[a] sins against you,[b] go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. 16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.

18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid[c] on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit[d] on earth will be permitted in heaven.

19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers,[e] I am there among them.”

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Footnotes

  1. 18:15a Greek If your brother.
  2. 18:15b Some manuscripts do not include against you.
  3. 18:18a Or bind, or lock.
  4. 18:18b Or loose, or open.
  5. 18:20 Greek gather together in my name.

41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.

The Believers Form a Community

42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper[a]), and to prayer.

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Footnotes

  1. 2:42 Greek the breaking of bread; also in 2:46.

47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

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11 Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened.

The Apostles Heal Many

12 The apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 But no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them. 14 Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord—crowds of both men and women.

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And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.”

Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith). These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them.

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Barnabas and Saul Are Commissioned

13 Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called “the black man”[a]), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas[b]), and Saul. One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way.

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Footnotes

  1. 13:1a Greek who was called Niger.
  2. 13:1b Greek Herod the tetrarch.

23 Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.

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27 Upon arriving in Antioch, they called the church together and reported everything God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles, too.

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The Council at Jerusalem

15 While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers[a]: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Paul and Barnabas disagreed with them, arguing vehemently. Finally, the church decided to send Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem, accompanied by some local believers, to talk to the apostles and elders about this question. The church sent the delegates to Jerusalem, and they stopped along the way in Phoenicia and Samaria to visit the believers. They told them—much to everyone’s joy—that the Gentiles, too, were being converted.

When they arrived in Jerusalem, Barnabas and Paul were welcomed by the whole church, including the apostles and elders. They reported everything God had done through them. But then some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.”

So the apostles and elders met together to resolve this issue. At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: “Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe. God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith. 10 So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers[b] with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? 11 We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”

12 Everyone listened quietly as Barnabas and Paul told about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.

13 When they had finished, James stood and said, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Peter[c] has told you about the time God first visited the Gentiles to take from them a people for himself. 15 And this conversion of Gentiles is exactly what the prophets predicted. As it is written:

16 ‘Afterward I will return
    and restore the fallen house[d] of David.
I will rebuild its ruins
    and restore it,
17 so that the rest of humanity might seek the Lord,
    including the Gentiles—
    all those I have called to be mine.
The Lord has spoken—
18     he who made these things known so long ago.’[e]

19 “And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood. 21 For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations.”

The Letter for Gentile Believers

22 Then the apostles and elders together with the whole church in Jerusalem chose delegates, and they sent them to Antioch of Syria with Paul and Barnabas to report on this decision. The men chosen were two of the church leaders[f]—Judas (also called Barsabbas) and Silas. 23 This is the letter they took with them:

“This letter is from the apostles and elders, your brothers in Jerusalem. It is written to the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. Greetings!

24 “We understand that some men from here have troubled you and upset you with their teaching, but we did not send them! 25 So we decided, having come to complete agreement, to send you official representatives, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We are sending Judas and Silas to confirm what we have decided concerning your question.

28 “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater burden on you than these few requirements: 29 You must abstain from eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. If you do this, you will do well. Farewell.”

30 The messengers went at once to Antioch, where they called a general meeting of the believers and delivered the letter.

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Footnotes

  1. 15:1 Greek brothers; also in 15:3, 23, 32, 33, 36, 40.
  2. 15:10 Greek disciples.
  3. 15:14 Greek Simeon.
  4. 15:16 Or kingdom; Greek reads tent.
  5. 15:16-18 Amos 9:11-12 (Greek version); Isa 45:21.
  6. 15:22 Greek were leaders among the brothers.

So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew larger every day.

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28 “So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood[a]—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders.[b]

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Footnotes

  1. 20:28a Or with the blood of his own [Son].
  2. 20:28b Or overseers, or bishops.

I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people.

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

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I am writing to God’s church in Corinth,[a] to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus,[b] just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.

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Footnotes

  1. 1:2a Corinth was the capital city of Achaia, the southern region of the Greek peninsula.
  2. 1:2b Or because you belong to Christ Jesus.

16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in[a] you?

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Footnotes

  1. 3:16 Or among.

in the name of the Lord Jesus. You must call a meeting of the church.[a] I will be present with you in spirit, and so will the power of our Lord Jesus. Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed[b] and he himself[c] will be saved on the day the Lord[d] returns.

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Footnotes

  1. 5:4 Or In the name of the Lord Jesus, you must call a meeting of the church.
  2. 5:5a Or so that his body will be destroyed; Greek reads for the destruction of the flesh.
  3. 5:5b Greek and the spirit.
  4. 5:5c Other manuscripts read the Lord Jesus; still others read our Lord Jesus Christ.

17 Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches.

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13 Don’t you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from the offerings brought to the temple? And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings. 14 In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it.

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12 If you support others who preach to you, shouldn’t we have an even greater right to be supported? But we have never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the Good News about Christ.

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Greetings from Paul

This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus.

I am writing to all of God’s holy people in Philippi who belong to Christ Jesus, including the church leaders[a] and deacons.

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Footnotes

  1. 1:1 Or overseers, or bishops.