Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and singled out for God's good news--
Paul, called as an apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will, and our brother Sosthenes:
Now I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel preached by me is not based on a human point of view.
For I did not receive it from a human source and I was not taught it, but it came by a revelation from Jesus Christ.
I did not go up to Jerusalem to those who had become apostles before me; instead I went to Arabia and came back to Damascus.
"Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled that the Holy Spirit through the mouth of David spoke in advance about Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.
For he was one of our number and was allotted a share in this ministry."
Now this man acquired a field with his unrighteous wages; and falling headfirst, he burst open in the middle, and all his insides spilled out.
This became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, so that in their own language that field is called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.
"For it is written in the Book of Psalms: Let his dwelling become desolate; let no one live in it; and Let someone else take his position.
"Therefore, from among the men who have accompanied us during the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us--
beginning from the baptism of John until the day He was taken up from us-- from among these, it is necessary that one become a witness with us of His resurrection."
So they proposed two: Joseph, called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.
Then they prayed, "You, Lord, know the hearts of all; show which of these two You have chosen
to take the place in this apostolic service that Judas left to go to his own place."
Then they cast lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias. So he was numbered with the 11 apostles.
As they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work that I have called them to."
Then, after they had fasted, prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them off.
Being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they came down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
"But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
But the Lord said to him, "Go! For this man is My chosen instrument to carry My name before Gentiles, kings, and the sons of Israel.
I will certainly show him how much he must suffer for My name!"
"Then I said, 'What should I do, Lord?' "And the Lord told me, 'Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told about everything that is assigned for you to do.'
Then he said, 'The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the sound of His voice.
For you will be a witness for Him to all people of what you have seen and heard.
And now, why delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins by calling on His name.'
"After I came back to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple complex, I went into a visionary state
and saw Him telling me, 'Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me!'
"But I said, 'Lord, they know that in synagogue after synagogue I had those who believed in You imprisoned and beaten.
And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I myself was standing by and approving, and I guarded the clothes of those who killed him.'
"Then He said to me, 'Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'"
But get up and stand on your feet. For I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and a witness of things you have seen, and of things in which I will appear to you.
I will rescue you from the people and from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you,
to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.'
and was established as the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness.
We have received grace and apostleship through Him to bring about the obedience of faith among all the nations, on behalf of His name,
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or like some, do we need letters of recommendation to you or from you?
You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, recognized and read by everyone,
since it is plain that you are Christ's letter, produced by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God; not on stone tablets but on tablets that are hearts of flesh.
This grace was given to me-- the least of all the saints!-- to proclaim to the Gentiles the incalculable riches of the Messiah,
based on the glorious gospel of the blessed God that was entrusted to me.
I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry--
one who was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. Since it was out of ignorance that I had acted in unbelief, I received mercy,
and the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will, for the promise of life in Christ Jesus:
and has in His own time revealed His message in the proclamation that I was entrusted with by the command of God our Savior:
Then Jesus came near and said to them, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Then Jesus replied, "I assure you: The Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does these things in the same way.
The Father and I are one."
Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you."
God raised Him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it.
For David says of Him: I saw the Lord ever before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced. Moreover my flesh will rest in hope,
because You will not leave my soul in Hades, or allow Your Holy One to see decay.
You have revealed the paths of life to me; You will fill me with gladness in Your presence.
"Brothers, I can confidently speak to you about the patriarch David: he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne.
Seeing this in advance, he spoke concerning the resurrection of the Messiah: He was not left in Hades, and His flesh did not experience decay.
"God has resurrected this Jesus. We are all witnesses of this.
And you killed the source of life, whom God raised from the dead; we are witnesses of this.
but also for us. It will be credited to us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.
He was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Christ died and came to life for this: that He might rule over both the dead and the living.
and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.
He demonstrated [this power] in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens--
Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus-- the great Shepherd of the sheep-- with the blood of the everlasting covenant,
who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and has set us free from our sins by His blood,
and the Living One. I was dead, but look-- I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.
"To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: "The First and the Last, the One who was dead and came to life, says: