ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 100



88
IMMERSE

MESSIAH
15:23–16:3
and Barnabas to report on this decision. The men chosen were two of the
church leaders—Judas (also called Barsabbas) and Silas. This is the letter
they took with them:
“This letter is from the apostles and elders, your brothers in Jerusalem.
It is written to the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia.
Greetings!
“We understand that some men from here have troubled you and
upset you with their teaching, but we did not send them! So we
decided, having come to complete agreement, to send you official
representatives, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who
have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are
sending Judas and Silas to confirm what we have decided concerning
your question.
“For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater
burden on you than these few requirements: You must abstain from
eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or the meat of
strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. If you do this, you will
do well. Farewell.”
The messengers went at once to Antioch, where they called a general
meeting of the believers and delivered the letter. And there was great joy
throughout the church that day as they read this encouraging message.
Then Judas and Silas, both being prophets, spoke at length to the believers, encouraging and strengthening their faith. They stayed for a while,
and then the believers sent them back to the church in Jerusalem with a
blessing of peace. Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch. They and many
others taught and preached the word of the Lord there.
After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city
where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new
believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John
Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in
­Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with
him and sailed for Cyprus. Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers
entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care. Then he traveled throughout
Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there.
Paul went first to Derbe and then to Lystra, where there was a young
disciple named Timothy. His mother was a Jewish believer, but his father
was a Greek. Timothy was well thought of by the believers in Lystra and
Iconium, so Paul wanted him to join them on their journey. In deference
to the Jews of the area, he arranged for Timothy to be circumcised before





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