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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Believe In The LORD JESUS, And You and Your Household Will Be Saved




Acts 16:1-40 NIV








Timothy Joins Paul and Silas






1Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. 2The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 






4As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. 5So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.






Paul’s Vision of the Man of Macedonia




6Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, 

having been kept by The HOLY SPIRIT from preaching 

The WORD in the province of Asia. 

7When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, 

But The SPIRIT of JESUS Would Not Allow them to. 

8So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 


 9During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, 

“Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 






10After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that GOD Had Called us to preach the Gospel to them.






Lydia’s Conversion in Philippi




11From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. 12From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that districta of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.


13On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of GOD. The LORD Opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 






15When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in The LORD,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.






Paul and Silas in Prison




16Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, 

“These men are servants of the MOST HIGH GOD, who are telling you The Way to be saved.” 

18She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit,

“In The Name of JESUS CHRIST I command you to 

come out of her!”


At that moment the spirit left her.


19When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”


22The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 






24When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.





25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to GOD, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”


29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 







30He then brought them out and asked, 

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”






31They replied, 


“Believe in The LORD JESUS, and you 

will be saved—you and your 

household.” 



32Then they spoke The WORD of The LORD to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in GOD—he and his whole household.


35When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” 36The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.”


37But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.”


38The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. 39They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city. 






40After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and sisters and encouraged them. Then they left.









Only The Grace Of The LORD JESUS Saves Us





Acts 15:1-41 NIV









The Council at Jerusalem






1Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: 

“Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” 



2This 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 to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. 4When 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.


5Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, 

“The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the Law of Moses.”


6The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7After 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. 8GOD, WHO Knows the heart, Showed that HE Accepted them by Giving The HOLY SPIRIT to them, Just As HE Did to us. 9HE Did not Discriminate between us and them, For HE Purified their hearts by faith. 10Now then, why do you try to test GOD by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 






11 No! We believe it is through The Grace of our LORD JESUS that we are saved, just as they are.”






12The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders GOD Had Done among the Gentiles through them. 13When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. 14Simona has described to us How GOD first Intervened To Choose a people for HIS Name from the Gentiles. 


15The 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,
17that the rest of mankind may seek The LORD,
even all the Gentiles who bear MY Name,

Says The LORD, WHO Does these things’ 

18Things known from long ago.


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






The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers




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



The apostles and elders, your brothers,

To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:


Greetings.


24We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26men who have risked their lives for The Name of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. 


27Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28It seemed good to The HOLY SPIRIT and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 


 29You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.


You will do well to avoid these things.


Farewell.



30So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. 31The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message. 








32 Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. 33After spending some time there, they were sent off by the believers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. [34]d 35But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached The WORD of The LORD.








Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas



36Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, 


“Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached The WORD of The LORD and see how they are doing.” 


37Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 






39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 







40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the Grace of The LORD. 41He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.