Bible: Acts 8:4-11:18

Philip Preaches in Samaria

8:4 Now those who had been forced to scatter went around proclaiming the good news of the word. 8:5 Philip went down to the main city of Samaria 1  and began proclaiming 2  the Christ 3  to them. 8:6 The crowds were paying attention with one mind to what Philip said, 4  as they heard and saw the miraculous signs 5  he was performing. 8:7 For unclean spirits, 6  crying with loud shrieks, were coming out of many who were possessed, 7  and many paralyzed and lame people were healed. 8:8 So there was 8  great joy 9  in that city.

8:9 Now in that city was a man named Simon, who had been practicing magic 10  and amazing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great. 8:10 All the people, 11  from the least to the greatest, paid close attention to him, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called ‘Great.’ 12  8:11 And they paid close attention to him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God 13  and the name of Jesus Christ, 14  they began to be baptized, 15  both men and women. 8:13 Even Simon himself believed, and after he was baptized, he stayed close to 16  Philip constantly, and when he saw the signs and great miracles that were occurring, he was amazed. 17 

8:14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem 18  heard that Samaria had accepted the word 19  of God, they sent 20  Peter and John to them. 8:15 These two 21  went down and prayed for them so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. 8:16 (For the Spirit 22  had not yet come upon 23  any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 24  8:17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on the Samaritans, 25  and they received the Holy Spirit. 26 

8:18 Now Simon, when he saw that the Spirit 27  was given through the laying on of the apostleshands, offered them money, 8:19 saying, “Give me this power 28  too, so that everyone I place my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.” 8:20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, 29  because you thought you could acquire 30  God’s gift with money! 8:21 You have no share or part 31  in this matter 32  because your heart is not right before God! 8:22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord 33  that he may perhaps forgive you for the intent of your heart. 34  8:23 For I see that you are bitterly envious 35  and in bondage to sin.” 8:24 But Simon replied, 36 You pray to the Lord for me so that nothing of what you have said may happen to 37  me.”

8:25 So after Peter and John 38  had solemnly testified 39  and spoken the word of the Lord, 40  they started back to Jerusalem, proclaiming 41  the good news to many Samaritan villages 42  as they went. 43 

Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

8:26 Then an angel of the Lord 44  said to Philip, 45 Get up and go south 46  on the road that goes down from Jerusalem 47  to Gaza.” (This is a desert 48  road.) 49  8:27 So 50  he got up 51  and went. There 52  he met 53  an Ethiopian eunuch, 54  a court official of Candace, 55  queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasury. He 56  had come to Jerusalem to worship, 57  8:28 and was returning home, sitting 58  in his chariot, reading 59  the prophet Isaiah. 8:29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 8:30 So Philip ran up 60  to it 61  and heard the man 62  reading Isaiah the prophet. He 63  asked him, 64  “Do you understand what you’re reading? 8:31 The man 65  replied, “How in the world can I, 66  unless someone guides me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 8:32 Now the passage of scripture the man 67  was reading was this:

He was led like a sheep to slaughter,

and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,

so he did 68  not open his mouth.

8:33 In humiliation 69  justice was taken from him. 70 

Who can describe his posterity? 71 

For his life was taken away 72  from the earth.” 73 

8:34 Then the eunuch said 74  to Philip, “Please tell me, 75  who is the prophet saying this about – himself or someone else? 76  8:35 So Philip started speaking, 77  and beginning with this scripture 78  proclaimed the good news about Jesus to him. 8:36 Now as they were going along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water! What is to stop me 79  from being baptized? 8:37 [[EMPTY]] 80  8:38 So he ordered the chariot to stop, and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, 81  and Philip baptized 82  him. 8:39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any more, but 83  went on his way rejoicing. 84  8:40 Philip, however, found himself 85  at Azotus, 86  and as he passed through the area, 87  he proclaimed the good news 88  to all the towns 89  until he came to Caesarea. 90 

The Conversion of Saul

9:1 Meanwhile Saul, still breathing out threats 91  to murder 92  the Lord’s disciples, went to the high priest 9:2 and requested letters from him to the synagogues 93  in Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, 94  either men or women, he could bring them as prisoners 95  to Jerusalem. 96  9:3 As he was going along, approaching 97  Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed 98  around him. 9:4 He 99  fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, 100  why are you persecuting me?” 101  9:5 So he said, “Who are you, Lord?” He replied, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting! 9:6 But stand up 102  and enter the city and you will be told 103  what you must do.” 9:7 (Now the men 104  who were traveling with him stood there speechless, 105  because they heard the voice but saw no one.) 106  9:8 So Saul got up from the ground, but although his eyes were open, 107  he could see nothing. 108  Leading him by the hand, his companions 109  brought him into Damascus. 9:9 For 110  three days he could not see, and he neither ate nor drank anything. 111 

9:10 Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The 112  Lord 113  said to him in a vision, “Ananias,” and he replied, “Here I am, 114  Lord.” 9:11 Then the Lord told him, “Get up and go to the street called ‘Straight,’ 115  and at Judashouse look for a man from Tarsus named Saul. For he is praying, 9:12 and he has seen in a vision 116  a man named Ananias come in and place his hands on him so that he may see again.” 9:13 But Ananias replied, 117 Lord, I have heard from many people 118  about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem, 9:14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison 119  all who call on your name! 120  9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, because this man is my chosen instrument 121  to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel. 122  9:16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 123  9:17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, placed 124  his hands on Saul 125  and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came here, 126  has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 127  9:18 Immediately 128  something like scales 129  fell from his eyes, and he could see again. He 130  got up and was baptized, 9:19 and after taking some food, his strength returned.

For several days 131  he was with the disciples in Damascus, 9:20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, 132  saying, “This man is the Son of God.” 133  9:21 All 134  who heard him were amazed and were saying, “Is this not 135  the man who in Jerusalem was ravaging 136  those who call on this name, and who had come here to bring them as prisoners 137  to the chief priests? 9:22 But Saul became more and more capable, 138  and was causing consternation 139  among the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving 140  that Jesus 141  is the Christ. 142 

Saul’s Escape from Damascus

9:23 Now after some days had passed, the Jews plotted 143  together to kill him, 9:24 but Saul learned of their plot against him. 144  They were also watching 145  the city gates 146  day and night so that they could kill him. 9:25 But his disciples took him at night and let him down through an opening 147  in the wall by lowering him in a basket. 148 

Saul Returns to Jerusalem

9:26 When he arrived in Jerusalem, 149  he attempted to associate 150  with the disciples, and they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe 151  that he was a disciple. 9:27 But Barnabas took 152  Saul, 153  brought 154  him to the apostles, and related to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, that 155  the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly 156  in the name of Jesus. 9:28 So he was staying with them, associating openly with them 157  in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. 9:29 He was speaking and debating 158  with the Greek-speaking Jews, 159  but they were trying to kill him. 9:30 When the brothers found out about this, they brought him down to Caesarea 160  and sent him away to Tarsus.

9:31 Then 161  the church throughout Judea, Galilee, 162  and Samaria experienced 163  peace and thus was strengthened. 164  Living 165  in the fear of the Lord and in the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, the church 166  increased in numbers.

Peter Heals Aeneas

9:32 Now 167  as Peter was traveling around from place to place, 168  he also came down to the saints who lived in Lydda. 169  9:33 He found there a man named Aeneas who had been confined to a mattress for eight years because 170  he was paralyzed. 9:34 Peter 171  said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ 172  heals you. Get up and make your own bed!” 173  And immediately he got up. 9:35 All 174  those who lived in Lydda 175  and Sharon 176  saw him, and they 177  turned 178  to the Lord.

Peter Raises Dorcas

9:36 Now in Joppa 179  there was a disciple named Tabitha (which in translation means 180  Dorcas). 181  She was continually doing good deeds and acts of charity. 182  9:37 At that time 183  she became sick 184  and died. When they had washed 185  her body, 186  they placed it in an upstairs room. 9:38 Because Lydda 187  was near Joppa, when the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Come to us without delay.” 188  9:39 So Peter got up and went with them, and 189  when he arrived 190  they brought him to the upper room. All 191  the widows stood beside him, crying and showing him 192  the tunics 193  and other clothing 194  Dorcas used to make 195  while she was with them. 9:40 But Peter sent them all outside, 196  knelt down, 197  and prayed. Turning 198  to the body, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 199  9:41 He gave 200  her his hand and helped her get up. Then he called 201  the saints and widows and presented her alive. 9:42 This became known throughout all 202  Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 203  9:43 So 204  Peter 205  stayed many days in Joppa with a man named 206  Simon, a tanner. 207 

Peter Visits Cornelius

10:1 Now there was a man in Caesarea 208  named Cornelius, a centurion 209  of what was known as the Italian Cohort. 210  10:2 He 211  was a devout, God-fearing man, 212  as was all his household; he did many acts of charity for the people 213  and prayed to God regularly. 10:3 About three o’clock one afternoon 214  he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God 215  who came in 216  and said to him, “Cornelius.” 10:4 Staring at him and becoming greatly afraid, Cornelius 217  replied, 218 What is it, Lord?” The angel 219  said to him, “Your prayers and your acts of charity 220  have gone up as a memorial 221  before God. 10:5 Now 222  send men to Joppa 223  and summon a man named Simon, 224  who is called Peter. 10:6 This man is staying as a guest with a man named Simon, a tanner, 225  whose house is by the sea.” 10:7 When the angel who had spoken to him departed, Cornelius 226  called two of his personal servants 227  and a devout soldier from among those who served him, 228  10:8 and when he had explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.

10:9 About noon 229  the next day, while they were on their way and approaching 230  the city, Peter went up on the roof 231  to pray. 10:10 He became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing the meal, a trance came over him. 232  10:11 He 233  saw heaven 234  opened 235  and an object something like a large sheet 236  descending, 237  being let down to earth 238  by its four corners. 10:12 In it 239  were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles 240  of the earth and wild birds. 241  10:13 Then 242  a voice said 243  to him, “Get up, Peter; slaughter 244  and eat! 10:14 But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything defiled and ritually unclean! 245  10:15 The voice 246  spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not consider 247  ritually unclean! 248  10:16 This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into heaven. 249 

10:17 Now while Peter was puzzling over 250  what the vision he had seen could signify, the men sent by Cornelius had learned where Simon’s house was 251  and approached 252  the gate. 10:18 They 253  called out to ask if Simon, known as Peter, 254  was staying there as a guest. 10:19 While Peter was still thinking seriously about 255  the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Look! Three men are looking for you. 10:20 But get up, 256  go down, and accompany them without hesitation, 257  because I have sent them.” 10:21 So Peter went down 258  to the men and said, “Here I am, 259  the person you’re looking for. Why have you come? 10:22 They said, “Cornelius the centurion, 260  a righteous 261  and God-fearing man, well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, 262  was directed by a holy angel to summon you to his house and to hear a message 263  from you.” 10:23 So Peter 264  invited them in and entertained them as guests.

On the next day he got up and set out 265  with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa 266  accompanied him. 10:24 The following day 267  he entered Caesarea. 268  Now Cornelius was waiting anxiously 269  for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 10:25 So when 270  Peter came in, Cornelius met 271  him, fell 272  at his feet, and worshiped 273  him. 10:26 But Peter helped him up, 274  saying, “Stand up. I too am a mere mortal.” 275  10:27 Peter 276  continued talking with him as he went in, and he found many people gathered together. 277  10:28 He said to them, “You know that 278  it is unlawful 279  for a Jew 280  to associate with or visit a Gentile, 281  yet God has shown me that I should call no person 282  defiled or ritually unclean. 283  10:29 Therefore when you sent for me, 284  I came without any objection. Now may I ask why 285  you sent for me? 10:30 Cornelius 286  replied, 287 Four days ago at this very hour, at three o’clock in the afternoon, 288  I was praying in my house, and suddenly 289  a man in shining clothing stood before me 10:31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your acts of charity 290  have been remembered before God. 291  10:32 Therefore send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter. This man is staying as a guest in the house of Simon the tanner, 292  by the sea.’ 10:33 Therefore I sent for you at once, and you were kind enough to come. 293  So now we are all here in the presence of God 294  to listen 295  to everything the Lord has commanded you to say to us.” 296 

10:34 Then Peter started speaking: 297  “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people, 298  10:35 but in every nation 299  the person who fears him 300  and does what is right 301  is welcomed before him. 10:36 You know 302  the message 303  he sent to the people 304  of Israel, proclaiming the good news of peace 305  through 306  Jesus Christ 307  (he is Lord 308  of all) – 10:37 you know what happened throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 309  10:38 with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, 310  that 311  God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He 312  went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, 313  because God was with him. 314  10:39 We 315  are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea 316  and in Jerusalem. 317  They 318  killed him by hanging him on a tree, 319  10:40 but 320  God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, 321  10:41 not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, 322  who ate and drank 323  with him after he rose from the dead. 10:42 He 324  commanded us to preach to the people and to warn 325  them 326  that he is the one 327  appointed 328  by God as judge 329  of the living and the dead. 10:43 About him all the prophets testify, 330  that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins 331  through his name.”

The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit

10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on 332  all those who heard the message. 333  10:45 The 334  circumcised believers 335  who had accompanied Peter were greatly astonished 336  that 337  the gift of the Holy Spirit 338  had been poured out 339  even on the Gentiles, 10:46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising 340  God. Then Peter said, 10:47 No one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, 341  can he? 342  10:48 So he gave orders to have them baptized 343  in the name of Jesus Christ. 344  Then they asked him to stay for several days.

Peter Defends His Actions to the Jerusalem Church

11:1 Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles too had accepted 345  the word of God. 346  11:2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, 347  the circumcised believers 348  took issue with 349  him, 11:3 saying, “You went to 350  uncircumcised men and shared a meal with 351  them.” 11:4 But Peter began and explained it to them point by point, 352  saying, 11:5 I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, 353  an object something like a large sheet descending, 354  being let down from heaven 355  by its four corners, and it came to me. 11:6 As I stared 356  I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, 357  and wild birds. 358  11:7 I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; slaughter 359  and eat!’ 11:8 But I said, ‘Certainly not, Lord, for nothing defiled or ritually unclean 360  has ever entered my mouth!’ 11:9 But the voice replied a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not consider 361  ritually unclean!’ 11:10 This happened three times, and then everything was pulled up to heaven again. 11:11 At that very moment, 362  three men sent to me from Caesarea 363  approached 364  the house where we were staying. 365  11:12 The Spirit told me to accompany them without hesitation. These six brothers 366  also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 11:13 He informed us how he had seen an angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter, 11:14 who will speak a message 367  to you by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ 11:15 Then as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on 368  them just as he did 369  on us at the beginning. 370  11:16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, 371  as he used to say, 372 John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 373  11:17 Therefore if God 374  gave them the same gift 375  as he also gave us after believing 376  in the Lord Jesus Christ, 377  who was I to hinder 378  God? 11:18 When they heard this, 379  they ceased their objections 380  and praised 381  God, saying, “So then, God has granted the repentance 382  that leads to life even to the Gentiles.” 383 

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