15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”(A)

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood,(B) but by my Father in heaven.(C) 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[a](D) and on this rock I will build my church,(E) and the gates of Hades[b] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys(F) of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[c] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[d] loosed in heaven.”(G)

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Footnotes

  1. Matthew 16:18 The Greek word for Peter means rock.
  2. Matthew 16:18 That is, the realm of the dead
  3. Matthew 16:19 Or will have been
  4. Matthew 16:19 Or will have been

Dealing With Sin in the Church

15 “If your brother or sister[a] sins,[b] go and point out their fault,(A) just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[c](B) 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church;(C) and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.(D)

18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.(E)

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them(F) by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”(G)

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Footnotes

  1. Matthew 18:15 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a fellow disciple, whether man or woman; also in verses 21 and 35.
  2. Matthew 18:15 Some manuscripts sins against you
  3. Matthew 18:16 Deut. 19:15
  4. Matthew 18:18 Or will have been
  5. Matthew 18:18 Or will have been

41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number(A) that day.

The Fellowship of the Believers

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching(B) and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread(C) and to prayer.(D)

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47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.(A) And the Lord added to their number(B) daily those who were being saved.

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11 Great fear(A) seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

The Apostles Heal Many

12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders(B) among the people. And all the believers used to meet together(C) in Solomon’s Colonnade.(D) 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.(E) 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.(F)

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Brothers and sisters,(A) choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit(B) and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them(C) and will give our attention to prayer(D) and the ministry of the word.”

This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen,(E) a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit;(F) also Philip,(G) Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed(H) and laid their hands on them.(I)

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13 Now in the church at Antioch(A) there were prophets(B) and teachers:(C) Barnabas,(D) Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene,(E) Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod(F) the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,(G) “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work(H) to which I have called them.”(I) So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them(J) and sent them off.(K)

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23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders[a](A) for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting,(B) committed them to the Lord,(C) in whom they had put their trust.

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Footnotes

  1. Acts 14:23 Or Barnabas ordained elders; or Barnabas had elders elected

27 On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them(A) and how he had opened a door(B) of faith to the Gentiles.

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The Council at Jerusalem

15 Certain people(A) came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers:(B) “Unless you are circumcised,(C) according to the custom taught by Moses,(D) you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem(E) to see the apostles and elders(F) about this question. The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia(G) and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted.(H) This news made all the believers very glad. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.(I)

Then some of the believers who belonged to the party(J) of the Pharisees(K) stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”(L)

The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.(M) God, who knows the heart,(N) showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them,(O) just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them,(P) for he purified their hearts by faith.(Q) 10 Now then, why do you try to test God(R) by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke(S) that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace(T) of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders(U) God had done among the Gentiles through them.(V) 13 When they finished, James(W) spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. 14 Simon[a] has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles.(X) 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:

16 “‘After this I will return
    and rebuild David’s fallen tent.
Its ruins I will rebuild,
    and I will restore it,
17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
    even all the Gentiles who bear my name,
says the Lord, who does these things’[b](Y)
18     things known from long ago.[c](Z)

19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols,(AA) from sexual immorality,(AB) from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.(AC) 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”(AD)

The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers

22 Then the apostles and elders,(AE) with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch(AF) with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas,(AG) men who were leaders among the believers. 23 With them they sent the following letter:

The apostles and elders, your brothers,

To the Gentile believers in Antioch,(AH) Syria(AI) and Cilicia:(AJ)

Greetings.(AK)

24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.(AL) 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26 men who have risked their lives(AM) for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas(AN) to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit(AO) and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.(AP) You will do well to avoid these things.

Farewell.

30 So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter.

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Footnotes

  1. Acts 15:14 Greek Simeon, a variant of Simon; that is, Peter
  2. Acts 15:17 Amos 9:11,12 (see Septuagint)
  3. Acts 15:18 Some manuscripts things’— / 18 the Lord’s work is known to him from long ago

So the churches were strengthened(A) in the faith and grew daily in numbers.(B)

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28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock(A) of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.(B) Be shepherds of the church of God,[a](C) which he bought(D) with his own blood.[b](E)

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Footnotes

  1. Acts 20:28 Many manuscripts of the Lord
  2. Acts 20:28 Or with the blood of his own Son.

To all in Rome who are loved by God(A) and called to be his holy people:(B)

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.(C)

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To the church of God(A) in Corinth,(B) to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called(C) to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name(D) of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

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16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple(A) and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?(B)

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So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over(A) to Satan(B) for the destruction of the flesh,[a][b] so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.(C)

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 5:5 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.
  2. 1 Corinthians 5:5 Or of his body

Concerning Change of Status

17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them.(A) This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.(B)

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13 Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar?(A) 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.(B)

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12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more?

But we did not use this right.(A) On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder(B) the gospel of Christ.

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