Fellowship, In Christian Service
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When James, Cephas, and John, recognized as pillars, acknowledged the grace that had been given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to me and Barnabas, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
After this, the Lord appointed 70 others, and He sent them ahead of Him in pairs to every town and place where He Himself was about to go. He told them:“The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.
because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
Still, you did well by sharing with me in my hardship. And you Philippians know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving except you alone. For even in Thessalonica you sent gifts for my need several times.
As they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work I have called them to.” Then after they had fasted, prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them off.
When I was present with you and in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my needs. I have kept myself, and will keep myself, from burdening you in any way.
Remember the earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to taunts and afflictions, and at other times you were companions of those who were treated that way. For you sympathized with the prisoners and accepted with joy the confiscation of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves have a better and enduring possession.
And our hope for you is firm, because we know that as you share in the sufferings, so you will share in the comfort.
Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or am absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, working side by side for the faith that comes from the gospel, not being frightened in any way by your opponents. This is a sign of destruction for them, but of your deliverance—and this is from God. For it has been given to you on Christ’s behalf not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him, read more.
having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I have.
Yes, I also ask you, true partner, to help these women who have contended for the gospel at my side, along with Clement and the rest of my coworkers whose names are in the book of life.
and when he found him he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught large numbers. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. In those days some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine throughout the Roman world. This took place during the time of Claudius.read more.
So each of the disciples, according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brothers who lived in Judea. They did this, sending it to the elders by means of Barnabas and Saul.
As they were leaving, the people begged that these matters be presented to them the following Sabbath. After the synagogue had been dismissed, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who were speaking with them and persuading them to continue in the grace of God. The following Sabbath almost the whole town assembled to hear the message of the Lord.read more.
But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to oppose what Paul was saying by insulting him. Then Paul and Barnabas boldly said: “It was necessary that God’s message be spoken to you first. But since you reject it and consider yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles! For this is what the Lord has commanded us:I have made you
a light for the Gentiles
to bring salvation
to the endsof the earth.” When the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced and glorified the message of the Lord, and all who had been appointed to eternal life believed. So the message of the Lord spread through the whole region. But the Jews incited the prominent women, who worshiped God, and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their district.
The same thing happened in Iconium; they entered the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up and poisoned the minds of the Gentiles against the brothers. So they stayed there for some time and spoke boldly in reliance on the Lord, who testified to the message of His grace by granting that signs and wonders be performed through them.read more.
But the people of the city were divided, some siding with the Jews and some with the apostles. When an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to assault and stone them, they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian towns called Lystra and Derbe, and to the surrounding countryside. And there they kept evangelizing. In Lystra a man without strength in his feet, lame from birth, and who had never walked, sat and heard Paul speaking. After observing him closely and seeing that he had faith to be healed, Paul said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet!” And he jumped up and started to walk around. When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in the form of men!” And they started to call Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the main speaker. Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the town, brought oxen and garlands to the gates. He, with the crowds, intended to offer sacrifice. The apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their robes when they heard this and rushed into the crowd, shouting: “Men! Why are you doing these things? We are men also, with the same nature as you, and we are proclaiming good news to you, that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. In past generations He allowed all the nations to go their own way, although He did not leave Himself without a witness, since He did what is good by giving you rain from heaven and fruitful seasons and satisfying your hearts with food and happiness.” Even though they said these things, they barely stopped the crowds from sacrificing to them. Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and when they had won over the crowds and stoned Paul, they dragged him out of the city, thinking he was dead. After the disciples surrounded him, he got up and went into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe. After they had evangelized that town and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, to Iconium, and to Antioch, strengthening the disciples by encouraging them to continue in the faith and by telling them, “It is necessary to pass through many troubles on our way into the kingdom of God.” When they had appointed elders in every church and prayed with fasting, they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Then the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, decided to select men who were among them and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas, called Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men among the brothers. They wrote this letter to be delivered by them: From the apostles and the elders, your brothers, To the brothers among the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. Because we have heard that some without our authorization went out from us and troubled you with their words and unsettled your hearts,read more.
we have unanimously decided to select men and send them to you along with our dearly loved Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who will personally report the same things by word of mouth. For it was the Holy Spirit’s decision—and ours—to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things: that you abstain from food offered to idols, from blood, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. You will do well if you keep yourselves from these things.Farewell.
For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ.
Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person.
A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial:
Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts:If prophecy,
use it according to the standard of one’s faith;read more.
if service, in service;
if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation;
giving, with generosity;
leading, with diligence;
showing mercy, with cheerfulness.
So the body is not one part but many. If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. read more.
If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? Now there are many parts, yet one body.
Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God.
So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” But even more, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary. And those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unpresentable parts have a better presentation. read more.
But our presentable parts have no need of clothing. Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter was for the circumcised, since the One at work in Peter for an apostleship to the circumcised was also at work in me for the Gentiles.
Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. And God has placed these in the church:first apostles, second prophets,
third teachers, next miracles,
then gifts of healing, helping,
managing, various kinds of languages. Are all apostles? Are all prophets?
Are all teachers? Do all do miracles?read more.
Do all have gifts of healing?
Do all speak in other languages?
Do all interpret? But desire the greater gifts. And I will show you an even better way.
Brothers, you know the household of Stephanas: They are the firstfruits of Achaia and have devoted themselves to serving the saints. I urge you also to submit to such people, and to everyone who works and labors with them. I am pleased to have Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus present, because these men have made up for your absence. read more.
For they have refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore recognize such people.
Also, regard the patience of our Lord as an opportunity for salvation, just as our dear brother Paul has written to you according to the wisdom given to him. He speaks about these things in all his letters in which there are some matters that are hard to understand. The untaught and unstable twist them to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures.
From that day on, half of my men did the work while the other half held spears, shields, bows, and armor. The officers supported all the people of Judah, who were rebuilding the wall. The laborers who carried the loads worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other. Each of the builders had his sword strapped around his waist while he was building, and the trumpeter was beside me. read more.
Then I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people: “The work is enormous and spread out, and we are separated far from one another along the wall. Wherever you hear the trumpet sound, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us!” So we continued the work, while half of the men were holding spears from daybreak until the stars came out. At that time, I also said to the people, “Let everyone and his servant spend the night inside Jerusalem, so that they can stand guard by night and work by day.”
What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, and each has the role the Lord has given. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. read more.
Now the one planting and the one watering are one in purpose, and each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
You will speak with him and tell him what to say. I will help both you and him to speak and will teach you both what to do. He will speak to the people for you. He will be your spokesman, and you will serve as God to him.
Joshua did as Moses had told him, and fought against Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. While Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, but whenever he put his hand down, Amalek prevailed. When Moses’ hands grew heavy, they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat down on it. Then Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other so that his hands remained steady until the sun went down. read more.
So Joshua defeated Amalek and his army with the sword.
to one is given a message of wisdom
through the Spirit,
to another, a message of knowledge
by the same Spirit, to another, faith by the same Spirit,
to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another, the performing of miracles,
to another, prophecy,
to another, distinguishing between spirits,
to another, different kinds of languages,
to another, interpretation of languages.read more.
But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as He wills.
“I commanded you at that time: The Lord your God has given you this land to possess. All your fighting men will cross over in battle formation ahead of your brothers the Israelites. But your wives, young children, and livestock—I know that you have a lot of livestock—will remain in the cities I have given you until the Lord gives rest to your brothers as He has to you, and they also take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving them across the Jordan. Then each of you may return to his possession that I have given you.
In the second month of the second year after they arrived at God’s house in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jozadak, and the rest of their brothers, including the priests, the Levites, and all who had returned to Jerusalem from the captivity, began to build. They appointed the Levites who were 20 years old or more to supervise the work on the Lord’s house. Jeshua with his sons and brothers, Kadmiel with his sons, and the sons of Judah and of Henadad, with their sons and brothers, the Levites, joined together to supervise those working on the house of God. When the builders had laid the foundation of the Lord’s temple, the priests, dressed in their robes and holding trumpets, and the Levites descended from Asaph, holding cymbals, took their positions to praise the Lord, as King David of Israel had instructed.
So we rebuilt the wall until the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had the will to keep working.
So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them; they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, because I’m a sinful man, Lord!” For he and all those with him were amazed at the catch of fish they took, read more.
and so were James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were Simon’s partners.“Don’t be afraid,” Jesus told Simon. “From now on you will be catching people!”