Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bible Study Notes for Acts 20:17-38 (Paul's Farewell Speech to the Elders of Ephesus)

I had a great time at last night's Wednesday Night Bible Study. We had some good questions and discussion. I'm posting my notes from last night, in case anyone would like to have them. As usual, they are based on commentaries by Matthew Henry and Matthew Poole.

Bible Study
October 19, 2011

Acts 20:17-38

  1. How Paul Conducted Himself while in Ephesus (v. 18):
    1. Serving the Lord with all humility (v. 19)
      1. 1 Thess 2:12, But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children...You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe;
      2. Romans 1:1, Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God
      3. Matthew 20:26-27, Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave
      4. 2 Cor. 1:12, For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.
    2. With many tears and trials (v. 19)
      1. Phil. 3:18, For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
      2. Hosea 12:4, Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed; he wept, and sought favor from Him. He found Him in Bethel, and there He spoke to us—
    3. I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you (v. 20)
      1. Isaiah 48:17, Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go.”
    4. Taught you publicly and from house to house (v. 20)
    5. Testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks (v. 21)
      1. Acts 26:20, but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.
    6. Repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (v. 21)
      1. Acts 17:30, Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent
      2. Acts 26:20, but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.
      3. Acts 5:30, Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
    7. Nor do I count my life dear to myself (v. 24)
      1. Luke 14:26, If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
    8. I have gone preaching the kingdom of God (v. 25)
    9. I am innocent of the blood of all men (v. 26)
      1. Ezekiel 33:6, But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’
      2. Ezek. 3:18-21, 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. 20 “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.”
    10. I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. (v. 27)
      1. 1 Cor. 2:7, But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,
    11. I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel (v. 33)
    12. These hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me (v. 34)
    13. I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak (v. 35)
  2. How the Elders were to conduct themselves
    1. Take heed to yourselves (v. 28)
    2. And to all the flock (v. 28)
    3. Shepherd the church of God
      1. Phil. 4:9, The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
    4. Watch (v. 31)
      1. 2 Tim. 4:5, But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
    5. Remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears (v. 31)
    6. You must support the weak (v. 35)
    7. Remember the words of the Lord Jesus (v. 35)
  3. What they could expect
    1. Chains and tribulations await [Paul] (v. 23)
    2. [Paul] may finish [his] race with joy (v. 24)
    3. You all will see my face no more (v. 25)
    4. Savage wolves will come in among you
      1. Phil 3:2, Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!
      2. Gal. 5:15, But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
    5. Not sparing the flock (v. 29)
    6. From among yourselves men will rise up
    7. Speaking perverse things
      1. 2 Peter 3:16, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
    8. To draw away the disciples after themselves
      1. 2 Tim. 1:15, This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
      2. 2 Tim 2:17-18, And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.
    9. I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified (v. 32)
  4. Important Doctrinal Points:
    1. Elders and Bishops are two names that refer to the same office (cf. v. 17 with v. 28)
      1. 1 Peter 5:1-2, The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
      2. Titus 1:5, 7, For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—...For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,
    2. Jesus is God and man (v. 28)

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