14 And the LORD said to Abram… “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are– northward, southward, eastward, and westward;
15 “for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.
16 “And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered.
5 Then He… said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
18 “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
7 “Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; your elders, and they will tell you:
8 When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, he set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel.
9 For the LORD’S portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance.
10 “He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; he encircled him, He instructed him, he kept him as the apple of His eye.
11 As an eagle stirs up its nest, Hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings,
12 So the LORD alone led him, and there was no foreign god with him.
13 “He made him ride in the heights of the earth, that he might eat the produce of the fields; he made him to draw honey from the rock, and oil from the flinty rock;
14 Curds from the cattle, and milk of the flock, with fat of lambs; and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the choicest wheat; and you drank wine, the blood of the grapes.
15 “But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; you grew fat, you grew thick, you are obese! Then he forsook God who made him, and scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
16 They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods; with abominations they provoked Him to anger.
17 They sacrificed to demons, not to God, to gods they did not know, to new gods, new arrivals that your fathers did not fear.
18 Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful, and have forgotten the God who fathered you.
19 “And when the LORD saw it, He spurned them, because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters.
20 And He said: ‘I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end will be, for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faith.
21 They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God; they have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols. But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation; I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.
ISAIAH 11:1-2, 10
1 There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
2 The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.
10 …for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious.”
ISAIAH 9:2-3, 6-7
2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.
3 You have multiplied the nation and increased its joy; they rejoice before You according to the joy of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
6 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
1 “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, my Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; he will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; he will bring forth justice for truth.
4 He will not fail nor be discouraged, till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands shall wait for His law.”
5 Thus says God the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it:
6 “I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles,
27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.
28 For the kingdom is the LORD’S, and He rules over the nations.
10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
2 O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come.
5 By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation, you who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of the far-off seas;
17 His name shall endure forever; his name shall continue as long as the sun. And men shall be blessed in Him; all nations shall call Him blessed.
1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment,
2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.
3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!”
4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.
5 “Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter.
6 “He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.”
7 And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually.
8 So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour.
10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance
11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth.
12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.
13 And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”
14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”
15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.”
16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.
17 Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate.
18 And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there.
19 While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are seeking you.
20 “Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.”
21 Then Peter went down to the men who had been sent to him from Cornelius, and said, “Yes, I am he whom you seek. For what reason have you come?”
22 And they said, “Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you.”
23 Then he invited them in and lodged them. On the next day Peter went away with them, and some brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
24 And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends.
25 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him.
26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.”
27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together.
28 Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
29 “Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?”
30 So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
31 “and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God.
32 ‘Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.’
33 “So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God.”
34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.
35 “But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
36 “The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ– He is Lord of all–
37 “that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached:
38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
39 “And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree.
40 “Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly,
41 “not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.
42 “And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead.
43 “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.
45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered,
47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord…
1 Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.
2 And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him,
3 saying, “You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!”
4 But Peter explained it to them in order from the beginning, saying:
5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came to me.
6 “When I observed it intently and considered, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.
7 “And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’
8 “But I said, ‘Not so, Lord! For nothing common or unclean has at any time entered my mouth.’
9 “But the voice answered me again from heaven, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’
10 “Now this was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven.
11 “At that very moment, three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent to me from Caesarea.
12 “Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house.
13 “And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter,
14 ‘who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’
15 “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning.
16 “Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
17 “If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?”
18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”
19 Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only.
20 But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus.
21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
22 Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch.
23 When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.
24 For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul.
26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
45 … when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.
46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.
47 “For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”
48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
5 …some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”
6 Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter.
7 And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.
8 “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us,
9 “and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
10 “Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11 “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”
12 Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles.
13 And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me:
14 “Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.
15 “And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:
16 ‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up;
17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does all these things.’
18 “Known to God from eternity are all His works.
19 “Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God,
20 “but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.
21 “For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
22 Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.
23 They wrote this letter by them: The apostles, the elders, and the brethren, To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings.
24 Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, ‘You must be circumcised and keep the law’– to whom we gave no such commandment–
25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth.
28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:
29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.
30 So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter.
31 When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement.
…I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?
15 “We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
16 “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
17 “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not!
18 “For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
19 “For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.
20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
21 “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”
9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”
11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”
12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),
14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
19 …Moses says: “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation.”
20 But Isaiah is very bold and says: “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.”
21 But to Israel he says: “All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”
11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.
12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!
13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,
14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.
15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,
18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.”
20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.
21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.
22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”
28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.
29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience,
31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy.
32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?”
35 “Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?”
36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
GALATIANS 5:1, 3-6
1 Stand fast …in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.
4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.