Lesson 27:Paul’s Third Missionary Journey (3):His Final Trip to Jerusalem (20:13-21:17)
I. Overview of the Passage & Helpful Facts for Further Bible Study • Paul traveled from Troas to Miletus, hurrying to reach Jerusalem (20:13-16). • It took about a week for Paul to journey from Troas to Miletus (mostly by ship). • If he stopped in Asia Minor, Ephesus would have been a 66-mile roundtrip inland. • Paul was “hurrying” (imperfect tense, continuous) to get to Jerusalem (20:16). • His goal was to reach the city of Jerusalem for the Jewish Day of Pentecost.
I. Overview of the Passage & Helpful Facts for Further Bible Study • Paul met with the eldersfrom Ephesus, while he was in Miletus (20:13-38). • Paul discussed and defended his labor while with the church in Ephesus (20:18-21). • Paul reminded the elders of his heart while in Ephesus (20:19). • Paul reminded the elders of his preaching while in Ephesus (20:20-21).
I. Overview of the Passage & Helpful Facts for Further Bible Study • Paul met with the elders from Ephesus, while he was in Miletus (20:13-38). • Paul discussed and shared his plans for the present and near future (20:22-27). • Paul shared his strong obligation to make it to Jerusalem (20:22). • Paul shared his awareness and acceptance that suffering was awaiting him (23). • Paul shared his bold determination to finish what the Lord had started (20:24). • Paul shared that he would continue preaching the gospel of the kingdom (24-25). • Paul shared that he was blameless in preaching God’s saving message (20:26). • Paul shared he wasn’t selective in his teaching but taught the whole will of God.
II. • Significant Truths from this Passage for Our Understanding • The responsibility of faithful evangelists is to preach all truth to all men! • Faithful evangelists “keep nothing back” (Acts 20:20). • Faithful evangelists freely and determinedly preach “the whole counsel of God” (27). • Faithful evangelists “cease not to warn everyone night & day” (20:31+26; Col. 1:28). • Faithful evangelists preach and teach publicly and privately (20:20). • Faithful evangelists preach the gospel of grace and the kingdom of God (20:24-25). • Faithful evangelists stay the course that they may fulfill their ministry (20:24). • Faithful evangelists commend hearers to God and His Word, not themselves (20:32). • Faithful evangelists elevate & live for “the name of the Lord Jesus” above all (21:13).
I. Overview of the Passage & Helpful Facts for Further Bible Study • Paul met with the elders from Ephesus, while he was in Miletus (20:13-38). • Paul discussed and delivered strong warnings of the danger of apostasy (20:28-31). • These elders had a solemn responsibility and Paul reminded them of that. • The elders first had a responsibility to keep themselves conformed to God’s will. • Then, they had the responsibility to watch over the spiritual welfare of the church. • The church was of supreme value to the Lord and needed to be to these elders. • Enemies would come from outside, then rise up from inside, to ravage the church. • Watching for souls is serious business! Falling from grace is a constant danger!
II. • Significant Truths from this Passage for Our Understanding • The church is of utmost importance (i.e. is absolutely essential) to the Lord (Acts 20:28)! • The church is unique in its nature and singular in its number (Acts 20:28; Mt. 16:18). • There is “one body” (church, Ep. 4:4), which the Lord purposed (Ep. 3:9-11), prophesied (Isa. 2:2-4), promised (Mt. 16:18), purchased (Ac. 20:28) and established (Ac. 2:1-47). • The Lord was willing to die for His church, thus it continues to belong to Him (Col. 1:24). • The church (i.e., His people) will ultimately be delivered to the Father (1 Cor. 15:24). • The Lord died to save man (Eph. 1:7) and to save the church (Eph. 5:23).
II. • Significant Truths from this Passage for Our Understanding • Elders of the Lord’s church hold a vital role in the Lord’s plan for the health of His church! • A plurality (“appointed elders” plural, 14:23) of qualified men (1 Ti. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-9) are responsible for a single local congregation they are “among” (20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2). • Their responsibilities include: • “Oversee” the affairs of the local congregation (20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2). • Shepherd/Feed the sheep/flock of the local congregation (20:29-29; 1 Pet. 5:2-3). • Guard against and protect the flock from outside and inside dangers (20:29-31). • The Lord’s reminder: the church/flock belongs to the Chief Shepherd (20:28; 1 Pet. 5:4).
II. • Significant Truths from this Passage for Our Understanding • Apostasy is an ever-present danger for Christians, who must be on guard against the devil! • Elders were warned of dangers from outside the church & inside the church (20:28-29). • A Christian can so live as to fall from grace & be lost eternally (Gal. 5:4; Jas. 5:19-20). • Faithfulness requires abiding in His Word (20:32) and yielding to His will (21:14).
I. Overview of the Passage & Helpful Facts for Further Bible Study • Paul met with the elders from Ephesus, while he was in Miletus (20:13-38). • Paul discussed and exhorted the urgency for continued faithfulness (20:32-37). • Faithfulness sticks to God and to His Word (20:32). • Faithfulness labors to the point of weariness for the good of others (20:33-35). • Faithfulness finds happiness in constantly giving rather than constantly receiving.
I. Overview of the Passage & Helpful Facts for Further Bible Study • Paul traveled from Miletus to the city of Jerusalem, for the last time (21:1-17). • Paul left Miletus to make his final journey to Jerusalem, about 400 miles southeast. • Paul sailed from Miletus Cos Rhodes Patara Tyre Ptolemais Caesarea. • They found disciples in Tyre (perhaps from 11:19) and stayed seven days (cf. 20:6-7). • At Caesarea, Paul and his companions stayed with Philip, the evangelist (21:8-15a). • Paul arrived in Jerusalem, for his fifth and final visit as an apostle (21:17).
III. Practical Points of Application for Our Lives • Let us throw ourselves into God’s Word, which is able to build us up! • Let us learn, practice and enjoy giving more than receiving! • Let us not allow others (friends or foes) to interfere with our service to God!