Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets [who spoke a new message of God to the people] and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod [Antipas] the tetrarch, and Saul.
While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul (Paul) for the work to which I have called them.”
Then after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them [in approval and dedication] and sent them away [on their first journey].
So then, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
When Barnabas and Saul arrived at Salamis, they began to preach the word of God [proclaiming the message of eternal salvation through faith in Christ] in the synagogues of the Jews; and they also had John [Mark] as their assistant.
When they had traveled through the entire island [of Cyprus] as far as Paphos, they found a sorcerer, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus, who was [closely associated] with the proconsul [of the province], Sergius Paulus, an intelligent and sensible man.
He called for Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God [concerning eternal salvation through faith in Christ]. But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is how his name is translated) opposed them, trying to turn the proconsul away from accepting the faith.
But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit and led by Him, looked steadily at Elymas, and said, “ You [Elymas] who are full of every [kind of] deceit, and every [kind of] fraud, you son of the devil, enemy of everything that is right and good, will you never stop perverting the straight paths of the Lord? Now, watch! The hand of the Lord is on you, and you will be blind, [so blind that you will be] unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately a mist and darkness fell upon him, and he groped around, seeking people to lead him by the hand. The proconsul believed [the message of salvation] when he saw what had happened, being astonished at the teaching concerning the Lord.
Now Paul and his companions sailed from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia; but John [Mark] left them and went back to Jerusalem.
Now they went on from Perga and arrived at Antioch in Pisidia, and on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. After the reading of the Law and the [writings of the] Prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent word to them, saying,
“Brothers (kinsmen), if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.”
So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand, he said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen! The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great and numerous during their stay [as foreigners] in the land of Egypt, and then with an uplifted arm He led them out of there. For a period of about forty years He put up with their behavior in the wilderness. When He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He gave their land [to our ancestors] as an inheritance–this took about four hundred and fifty years. After this, He gave them judges until the prophet Samuel. Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king: of him He testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart [conforming to My will and purposes], who will do all My will.’ From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel a Savior, [in the person of] Jesus, according to His promise. Before His coming John [the Baptist] had preached a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his course [of ministry], he kept saying,
‘What or who do you think that I am? I am not He [the Christ]; but be aware, One is coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie [even as His slave]!’
“Brothers, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation [obtained through faith in Jesus Christ]. For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, who failed to recognize or understand both Jesus and the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled these [very prophecies] by condemning Him.
And though they found no cause or charge deserving death, they asked Pilate to have Him executed. And when they had finished carrying out everything that was written [in Scripture] about Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb.
But God raised Him from the dead; and for many days (forty) He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people.
And we are bringing you the good news of the promise made to our fathers (ancestors), that God has completely fulfilled this promise to our children by raising up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm,
‘You are My Son ; today I have begotten (fathered) You .’
And [as for the fact] that He raised Him from the dead, never again to return to decay [in the grave], He has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David [those blessings and mercies that were promised to him].’
For this reason He also says in another Psalm,
‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see decay .’
For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was buried among his fathers and experienced decay [in the grave]; but He whom God raised [to life] did not experience decay [in the grave].
So let it be clearly known by you, brothers, that through Him forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you; and through Him everyone who believes [who acknowledges Jesus as Lord and Savior and follows Him] is justified and declared free of guilt from all things, from which you could not be justified and freed of guilt through the Law of Moses.
Therefore be careful, so that the thing spoken of in the [writings of the] Prophets does not come upon you:
‘Look , you mockers , and marvel , and perish and vanish away ; For I am doing a work in your days , A work which you will never believe, even if someone describes it to you [telling you about it in detail].’”
As Paul and Barnabas were leaving [the synagogue], the people kept begging that these things might be spoken to them on the next Sabbath. When the congregation of the synagogue had been dismissed, many of the Jews and the devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, talking to them were urging them to continue in the grace of God.
On the next Sabbath almost the entire city gathered together to hear the word of the Lord [about salvation through faith in Christ].
But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things said by Paul, and were slandering him. And [at the same time] Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and confidently, saying, “It was necessary that God’s message [of salvation through faith in Christ] be spoken to you [Jews] first. Since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, now we turn to the Gentiles. For that is what the Lord has commanded us, saying, ‘I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles, So that You may bring [the message of eternal] salvation to the end of the earth .’”
When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying [praising and giving thanks for] the word of the Lord; and all those who had been appointed (designated, ordained) to eternal life [by God] believed [in Jesus as the Christ and their Savior].
And so the word of the Lord [regarding salvation] was being spread through the entire region.
But the Jews incited the devout, prominent women and the leading men of the city, and instigated persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them forcibly out of their district.
But they shook its dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were continually filled [throughout their hearts and souls] with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
ACTS 13:1-52 AMP
Now, having read, heard this and more, where do you stand? What do you believe and where will you go with this good news?