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Acts 20_17-24 Whats Ministry

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What’s Ministry

Acts 20:17-24

Secular:

  • Ever met someone extraordinarily committed to something…
  • Whether it was work…
  •  Whether it is school…
  • Whether it is was a hobby…
    • Rockwood Home
      • 1st floor VW Bug, 1st Stang Convertible… T-Bird… Vette
      • 2nd floor Porsche 911, Lamborghini, Ferrari and other such bobbles
      • 3rd floor greatest treasure… Spitfire suspended
      • Talk about dedicated to a hobby…

Biblical:

NAU Acts 20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. 18 And when they had come to him, he said to them, "You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, 21 solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 "And now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. 24 "But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.”

Personal:

  •  Same opportunities…
  •  Same # of hours in a day
    • same minutes
    • same seconds
  •   It is all about priorities…
    • Paul
    • Augustine
    • Calvin
    • Graham
    • You… all the same # of hours

Bridge:

  • Paul’s heart beat…
    • God’s calling on his life
    • Obedience and love
    • Living for his Saviour

Toward God – Service

Toward the Church – Teaching

Toward the Lost – Evangelism

Toward Himself – Sacrifice

Body:

NAU Acts 20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. 18 And when they had come to him, he said to them, "You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time,

 

Toward God – Service

19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews;

·         NAU Romans 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God…

·          Bond-Servant inseparable from Master

·         Isn’t about men, women, their wants… it is about God appointed needs

·         NAU Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

  • All believers obligated
    • NAU 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

  • … the idea of serving
    • bond-servant
    • slave
    • what better than to serve The King of kings and Lord of lords…
  •  What marks a servant…  a true servant of Christ
    • humility…
    • NAU 1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
    • Remember life before conversion… role of Christ in our life…
      • The Master…
      • The Sacrifice…
  • NAU Acts 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God."

    •  
  •  What marks a servant…  a true servant of Christ
    • all tears… for the lost * NAU Romans 9:2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh…
    • All tears… for weak, struggling & sinning
    • NAU 2 Corinthians 2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not so that you would be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have especially for you.
    • NOT all tears in Vain - NAU Psalm 126:6 He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
    •  
    • All tears… for the trials
    • NAU 2 Corinthians 11:24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes.
    • NAU Acts 9:20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God." And soon after…Acts 9:23 When many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him,
  • Quote J Mac… “the true measure of a servant of God is whether he focuses solely on pleasing God, which gives him the willingness to serve with humility and suffer opposition from those hostile to the truth.”

  Toward God – Service

Toward the Church – Teaching

20 …how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house,

  • Primary job … NAU Ephesians 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
  • We do that by increasing people’s knowledge of God through his word… that is why Paul says he was… declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house…
  • It is not about favoritism… Paul challenged Peter and he challenged Barnabas… the truth of God’s revelation was and is and forever more shall be our guide our truth… no man, no woman, no scheme, no program, no speaker… but the Lord Jesus Christ and his perfect revelation in Scripture.
  • NAU Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ
  • David speaks of the necessity to share the promises of God, the truth of God…. To teach God… to declare God…
  • NAU Psalm 40:9 I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation; Behold, I will not restrain my lips, O LORD, You know. 10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.
  • If we fail we face dire consequences:
  •  NAU Ezekiel 33:7 "Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me. 8 "When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. 9 "But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.
  • IN GLORY… CROWNS or EXCUSES
  • Teaching the word is vitally important… or failure will be counted against us… Paul steps out boldly…
  • I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable
  •  2 Tim 3:16 speaks to why the Word is profitable…
  • NAU 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
    • Teaching… sharing the Truth of God’s Word… its message
    • Reproof… conviction of sin
    • Correction… remedial course of action (in light of sin)
    • Training… moves believers along the path of their faith toward Christlikeness
  • Paul had two outlets for his teaching
    • Publicly – Synagogues… markets… courts…
      • Declaring the Word
    • House to House – took the Word from the general settings to the specific people and families…. Live it in their settings…
  •  We need to be Toward the Church – Teaching
  • NAU 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

Toward the Lost – Evangelism

  • 21 solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • No view of the church… faith and our mission is correct without understanding  our obligation to the lost….
  • NAU Romans 1:14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
  • Paul recognized his mandate to share his faith with others…
  •  You can hear his heart beat in his first letter to the Corinthians
  •  9:19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. 23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.
  • Passion to the extent… “woe to me”
  • 1 Corinthians 9:16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.
  • In presenting the Gospel one of the key understandings is our place before God…
  • “testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God”
  •  It represents a genuine change of heart - -
  • turning our lives from self-serving… living for this world

·         … recognizing that we have not met his expectations…. That we need to change direction…. relationship… repentance toward God” …not just ‘a’ narrow road… THE narrow road

  • Just turning away from sin is not enough…. We need to… respond in faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • NAU 1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,
  • Saving faith involves… our knowledge, our choice, and our emotion…. The whole person surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ… to Our Saviour
  • Ministry is Serving
  • Ministry is Teaching
  • Ministry is Declaring salvation to the lost
  • Ministry is God first… and his message that we need to put others before ourselves

Toward Himself - Sacrifice

22 "And now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. 24 "But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

  • Paul the ‘excellent servant’ of Christ… was not high on himself…
  •  
  • NAU 1 Corinthians 1:26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,

  • “bound in spirit”… real bond…
  • NAU Matthew 27:2 and they bound Him, and led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate the governor.
  • Or in Scriptural references to marriage… NAU 1 Corinthians 7:39 A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.
  • Paul’s primary concern is with his ministry of the gospel…. His service to God…
  • NAU Acts 21:13 Then Paul answered, "What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
  • Toward Himself - Sacrifice

Toward God – Service

Toward the church – Teaching

Toward the lost – evangelism

Toward Self – Sacrifice…

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