Lesson 15 English Fluency Exercise
Lesson Text 8:4 – 9:21 (Acts)
Read the Lesson Text aloud. Read the entire section until you can pronounce each word correctly, reading each paragraph without pausing. Practice until you can read the entire Lesson Text with good English pronunciation.
The believers who were scattered went everywhere, preaching the message. Philip went to the principal city in Samaria and preached the Messiah to the people there. The crowds paid close attention to what Philip said, as they listened to them and saw the miracles that he performed. Evil spirits came out from many people with a loud cry, and many paralyzed and lame people were healed. So there was great joy in that city. A man named Simon lived there, who for some time had astounded the Samaritans with his magic. He claimed that he was someone great, and everyone in the city, from all classes of society, paid close attention to him.
“He is that power of God known as The Great Power,” they said. They paid this attention to him because for such a long time he had astonished them with his magic. But when they believed Philip’s message about the good news of the Kingdom of God and about Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself also believed; and after being baptized, he stayed close to Philip. He was astounded when he saw the great wonders and miracles that were being performed.
The apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had received the word of God, so they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for the believers that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit had not yet come down on any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. Simon saw that the Spirit had been given to the believers when the apostles placed their hands on them. So he offered money to Peter and John, and said, “Give this power to me too, so that anyone I place my hands on will receive the Holy Spirit.”
But Peter answered him, “May you and your money go to hell, for thinking that you can buy God’s gift with money. You have no part or share in our work, because your heart is not right in God’s sight. Repent of this evil plan of yours, and pray to the Lord that he will forgive you for thinking such a thing as this. For I see that you are full of bitter envy and are a prisoner of sin.” Simon said to Peter and John, “Please pray to the Lord for me, so that none of these things you spoke of will happen to me.”
After they had given their testimony and proclaimed the Lord’s message, Peter and John went back to Jerusalem. On their way they preached the Good News in many villages of Samaria.
An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get ready and go south to the road that goes from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So Philip got ready and went. Now an Ethiopian eunuch, who was an important official in charge of the treasury of the queen of Ethiopia, was on his way home. He had been to Jerusalem to worship God and was going back home in his carriage. As he rode along, he was reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to that carriage and stay close to it.” Philip ran over and heard him reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah. He asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The official replied, “How can I understand unless someone explains it to me?” And he invited Philip to climb up and sit in the carriage with him.
The official asked Philip, “Tell me, of whom is the prophet saying this? Of himself or of someone else?” Then Philip began to speak; starting from this passage of scripture, he told him the Good News about Jesus. As they traveled down the road, they came to a place where there was some water. The official said, “Here is some water. What is to keep me from being baptized?” The official ordered the carriage to stop, and both Philip and the official went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took Philip away. The official did not see him again, but continued on his way, full of joy. Philip found himself in another city. He went on to Caesarea, and on the way he preached the Good News in every town.
In the meantime Saul kept up his violent threats of murder against the followers of the Lord. He went to the High Priest and asked for letters of introduction to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he should find there any followers of the Way of the Lord, he would be able to arrest them, both men and women, and bring them back to Jerusalem. As Saul was coming near the city of Damascus, suddenly a light from the sky flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” he asked. “I am Jesus, whom you persecute,” the voice said. “But get up and go into the city, where you will be told what you must do.”
The men who were traveling with Saul had stopped, not saying a word; they heard the voice but could not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground and opened his eyes, but could not see a thing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. For three days he was not able to see, and during that time he did not eat or drink anything.
There was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. He had a vision in which the Lord said to him, “Ananias.” “Here I am, Lord,” he answered. The Lord said to him, “Get ready and go to Straight Street, and at the house of Judas ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying, and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come in and place his hands on him so that he might see again.”
Ananias answered, “Lord, many people have told me about this man and about all the terrible things he has done to your people in Jerusalem. And he has come to Damascus with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who worship you.” The Lord said to him, “Go, because I have chosen him to serve me, to make my name known to Gentiles and kings and to the people of Israel. And I myself will show him all that he must suffer for my sake.
So Ananias went, entered the house where Saul was, and placed his hands on him. Brother Saul, he said, the Lord has sent me—Jesus himself, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here. He sent me so that you might see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit. At once something like fish scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he was able to see again. He stood up and was baptized; and after he had eaten, his strength came back.
Saul stayed for a few days with the believers in Damascus. He went straight to the synagogues and began to preach that Jesus was the Son of God. All who heard him were amazed and asked, “Isn’t he the one who in Jerusalem was killing those who worship that man Jesus? And didn’t he come here for the very purpose of arresting those people and taking them back to the chief priests?”
Lesson Text: Today’s English Version, Copyright ©1992 by the ABS.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.