Sunday, May 17, 2015

2015.05.17                            Acts 20
                  Paul shows his Pastors heart
Here at CCWiesbaden we teach through the Bible verse by verse….. We want to see the big picture….. We want to know and understand our great God…. And our Savior Jesus Christ….. At the moment we are studying the birth of the church in the book of Acts…. Paul is on his 3rd missionary journey…. Most of his time has been spent in Ephesus….. He was in Ephesus longer than any other place…. In ch 19…. We saw that the city was shaken by Paul´s proclamation of the gospel….. v10 said that all who lived in Asia heard the Gospel…. Many lives were transformed…. The Lord gave Paul a time of relative peace and he ministered there with great freedom for 3 years…… The city was so affected that the pot money of the idol makers was affected…. and finally at the end of ch 19….  they caused riots and  tried to shut Paul and the other Christians up… That´s where we pick up the text today… Acts 20…v1…..
Acts 20: 1                    NKJV   slt 2000
1 After the uproar had ceased, Paul called the disciples to himself, embraced them, and departed to go to Macedonia.
1 Nachdem sich aber der Tumult gelegt hatte, rief Paulus die Jünger zu sich, und als er Abschied von ihnen genommen hatte, zog er fort, um nach Mazedonien zu reisen.
v1…  After the uproar had ceased… The rioting in Ephesus (Acts 19) had convinced Paul to move on…. so he went  to Macedonia (modern Greece)…..
Acts 20: 2                            NKJV
2 Now when he had gone over that region and encouraged them with many words, he came to Greece  
Acts 20: 2                          slt 2000
2 Und nachdem er jene Gebiete durchzogen und sie mit vielen Worten ermahnt hatte, kam er nach Griechenland.
 v2… When he had gone over that region and encouraged them with many words….. Paul spent his time exhorting and encouraging the churches he had already established…..  Not only did Paul visit many churches during this time…. He also wrote some of his famous letters….These letters give us a great deal of insight into the early church… We see the teaching and the struggles of the young believers as these new churches are founded… We see Paul’s Love for the believers…. and his total commitment to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel…. He demonstrated the Grace of God that had transformed his life on the road to Damascus…
Paul is acting like he will never see these disciples again….. He knows that his time is short…. His deep love and commitment to the churches and these young believers continues to move him to teach and exhort the believers… Even when it is not easy or safe to do so… his love for the Lord Jesus causes him constantly love and encourage the believers everywhere he can…..
He does not care about his hard times…. He does not care about his suffering….. He is determined to bless and help the church…. No matter what… It was not easy… turn with me to 2 Cor 7…
2 Corinthians 7: 2-7                      NKJV 
2 Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one. 3 I do not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. 4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.
5 For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. 6 Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.

2 Corinthians 7: 2-7                        slt 2000
2 Gebt uns Raum [in euren Herzen]: Wir haben niemand Unrecht getan, niemand geschädigt, niemand übervorteilt.
3 Ich erwähne das nicht, um zu verurteilen; denn ich habe vorhin gesagt, daß ihr in unseren Herzen seid, so daß wir mit [euch] sterben und mit [euch] leben.
4 Ich bin sehr freimütig euch gegenüber und rühme euch viel. Ich bin mit Trost erfüllt, ich fließe über von Freude bei all unserer Bedrängnis.
5 Denn als wir nach Mazedonien kamen, hatte unser Fleisch keine Ruhe, sondern wir wurden auf alle Art bedrängt, von außen Kämpfe, von innen Ängste.
6 Aber Gott, der die Geringen tröstet, er tröstete uns durch die Ankunft des Titus;
7 und nicht allein durch seine Ankunft, sondern auch durch den Trost, den er bei euch empfangen hatte. Als er uns berichtete von eurer Sehnsucht, eurer Klage, eurem Eifer für mich, da freute ich mich noch mehr.
In this portion of scripture we see again the tremendous suffering and affliction that Paul experienced…. Look at v 2….
v2…Open your hearts….. We have wronged no one….  The Corinthians had closed their hearts to Paul at least a little …. They are offended at Paul…. They had much sin and disorder there in Corinth…. That is plain from reading 1 Corinthians…. And Paul had written a very stern warning and rebuke to them…. he is saying don´t hate me for telling you the truth…. Truth that you needed to hear…..
v3,4…  I do not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together…. I am not condemning you…. We are part of each other… You are in our hearts…. Paul also talks of the physical hard times that he continued to suffer…. V5…
v5… our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears….
Paul was encouraging and ministering in the middle of very difficult circumstances…. In v6… he says that he was feeling downcast about the combination of physical and emotional attacks…. But God sent him comfort…. Comfort in the form of Titus… v 6,7…
v6…. Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus….
It seems as though Titus is the one who delivered the strong letter of rebuke to them…. That´s why Paul was so anxious to know that Titus was ok…. I suppose there was a chance that these young believers would freak out on Titus…. So Paul was thrilled and comforted to know that Titus was safe and that the Corinthians had responded well with sorrow and mourning… Let`s continue now in Acts 20…v3…
Acts 20: 3-5                           NKJV
3 and stayed three months. And when the Jews plotted against him as he was about to sail to Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. 4 And Sopater of Berea accompanied him to Asia—also Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia. 5 These men, going ahead, waited for us at Troas.
Acts 20: 3-5                slt 2000
3 Und er brachte dort drei Monate zu; und da ihm die Juden nachstellten, als er nach Syrien abfahren wollte, entschloß er sich, über Mazedonien zurückzukehren.
4 Es begleiteten ihn aber bis nach [der Provinz] Asia Sopater von Beröa, von den Thessalonichern Aristarchus und Sekundus, und Gajus von Derbe und Timotheus, aus Asia aber Tychikus und Trophimus.
5 Diese gingen voraus und warteten auf uns in Troas.
v3a… and stayed three months. Paul stayed in the area of Acacia… Greece…. Mostly in Corinth….  for three very busy months…. Paul wrote Galatians and Romans and some scholars say also Philippians during these difficult days….
His love and concern for the young disciples….  and his commitment to encouraging and teaching these baby churches drove him to incredible efforts in ministry…

v3b… And when the Jews plotted against him as he was about to sail to Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia….
He had planned to take the long journey by sea directly back to Syria…. That is where his sending church at Antioch was…. but the plotting of anti-Christian Jews made him take a route by land….. He then went back through Macedonia…. accompanied by many companions….
v4… Sopater of Berea … Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians … Gaius of Derbe … Trophimus of Asia… These traveling companions of Paul were  representatives from the gentile churches who had sent money with Paul to Jerusalem….. They were from the churches Paul has founded among the Gentiles….  
v5… These men, going ahead, waited for us at Troas….

Acts 20: 6-12                                   NKJV
6 But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days.
7 Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.
8 There were many lamps in the upper room where they[a] were gathered together.
9 And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead.
10 But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, “Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.” 11 Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed. 12 And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted.
Acts 20: 6-12                                   slt2000
6 Wir aber fuhren nach den Tagen der ungesäuerten Brote von Philippi ab und kamen in fünf Tagen zu ihnen nach Troas, wo wir uns sieben Tage aufhielten.
7 Am ersten Tag der Woche aber, als die Jünger versammelt waren, um das Brot zu brechen, unterredete sich Paulus mit ihnen, da er am folgenden Tag abreisen wollte, und er dehnte die Rede bis Mitternacht aus.
8 Es waren aber zahlreiche Lampen in dem Obersaal, wo sie versammelt waren.
9 Und ein junger Mann namens Eutychus saß am Fenster; der sank in einen tiefen Schlaf; während Paulus weiterredete, fiel er, vom Schlaf überwältigt, vom dritten Stock hinab und wurde tot aufgehoben.
10 Da ging Paulus hinab und warf sich über ihn, umfaßte ihn und sprach: Macht keinen Lärm; denn seine Seele ist in ihm!
11 Und er ging wieder hinauf und brach Brot, aß und unterredete sich noch lange mit ihnen, bis der Tag anbrach, und zog dann fort.
12 Sie brachten aber den Knaben lebendig herbei und waren nicht wenig getröstet.
v6… We sailed away from Philippi … joined them at Troas…. Now there were 9 of them plus Paul…. Because  Luke, Timothy and Titus had also joined Paul…. They were all headed for Jerusalem….. Paul has now sailed back across the Aegean Sea…. eastward towards the Roman province of Asia Minor….
Starting here in verse 7… we see a typical time of worship in the early church…
 v7a… Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread…. This is one of the first examples we have of Christians gathering together on Sunday… the first day of the week for fellowship and the word….
v7b…. Spoke to them and continued his message until midnight…. Paul sensed the need to teach as long as necessary….  because he was going to leave next day…. he knew he might never see these particular Christians again….. so he preached for about six hours to them! Notice here there was no complaining about the length of the sermon…
v8,9… A certain young man named Eutychus … fell down from the third story and was taken up dead…. The combination of the late hour and the heat and maybe the fumes from the oil lamps made the young man Eutychus fall asleep….. It was not a long sermon that caused this….
v10… Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him… Paul, again receiving the gift of faith from God….. Knew that God would raise this boy from the dead….  
v11… Talked a long while, even till daybreak… Paul, obviously getting their attention back on the Lord….. continued preaching until daybreak!

Acts 20: 13-17                    NKJV
13 Then we went ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, there intending to take Paul on board; for so he had given orders, intending himself to go on foot. 14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene. 15 We sailed from there, and the next day came opposite Chios. The following day we arrived at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium. The next day we came to Miletus. 16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.
17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.
Acts 20: 13-17                    slt 2000
13 Wir aber gingen voraus zum Schiff und fuhren nach Assus, um dort Paulus an Bord zu nehmen; denn so hatte er es angeordnet, weil er zu Fuß reisen wollte.
14 Als er aber in Assus mit uns zusammentraf, nahmen wir ihn an Bord und kamen nach Mitylene.
15 Und von dort segelten wir ab und kamen am folgenden Tag auf die Höhe von Chios; tags darauf aber fuhren wir nach Samos, und nach einem Aufenthalt in Trogyllium gelangten wir am nächsten Tag nach Milet.
16 Paulus hatte nämlich beschlossen, an Ephesus vorbeizusegeln, damit er in [der Provinz] Asia nicht zu viel Zeit zubringen müßte; denn er beeilte sich, um möglichst am Tag der Pfingsten in Jerusalem zu sein.
17 Von Milet aber sandte er nach Ephesus und ließ die Ältesten der Gemeinde herüberrufen.
v13… Intending himself to go on foot… Paul decided to walk from Troas to Assos instead of sail with the rest of his group….
v16… Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus… Paul's intention wasn't to be disrespectful of  the church in Ephesus….. but he knew that it would be impossible for him to have a short visit there…. and he wanted to hurry so as to be at Jerusalem…. if possible… on the Day of Pentecost…. But he also wanted to encourage the elders so he sent for them….
v17… From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church…Though Paul knew he couldn't make a brief visit to Ephesus… he still wanted to pour his heart into the leaders of the church at Ephesus….. So from Miletus he called for the elders of the church to come to him…..
Acts 20: 18-21                                NKJV
18 And when they had come to him, he said to them: “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, 19 serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; 20 how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, 21 testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 20: 18-21                       slt 2000
18 Und als sie zu ihm gekommen waren, sprach er zu ihnen: Ihr wißt, wie ich mich vom ersten Tag an, als ich Asia betrat, die ganze Zeit unter euch verhalten habe,
19 daß ich dem Herrn diente mit aller Demut, unter vielen Tränen und Anfechtungen, die mir widerfuhren durch die Nachstellungen der Juden;
20 und wie ich nichts verschwiegen habe von dem, was nützlich ist, sondern es euch verkündigt und euch gelehrt habe, öffentlich und in den Häusern,
21 indem ich Juden und Griechen die Buße zu Gott und den Glauben an unseren Herrn Jesus Christus bezeugt habe.
v18-21…  Most of the time in Acts, we see Paul the evangelist…. but here in Acts 20….we get a unique picture of Paul the pastor…. He demonstrated to the believers what was important to him as a leader and shepherd of God's people…..
v18b…. You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you…. Paul first calls attention to himself as an example….. Not as an example instead of Jesus….. but an example as he follows Jesus….. Paul didn't expect people to serve and honor him…. he just wanted to be a good example to them….. He served the Lord with his whole heart…. He showed these believers what it meant to be totally committed to the Lord Jesus…….

What about us….. Are we good examples of what it means to be totally committed to the Lord who saved us?... Are we loving and caring for others…. no matter what the cost?
If not why not? Look at what Paul wrote in v20…
v20a… I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you… Paul could honestly say to these elders of the Ephesian church….. that he kept back nothing that they needed to hear…. That means that he encouraged and comforted them when they needed it…. He powerfully proclaimed the grace and goodness of God…. And it means that he rebuked them when they needed it…. He called sin sin…. He warned of hypocrisy and selfishness and pride… He proclaimed it all….
v20b… publically and from house to house… In Acts 19..v9…. we saw that Paul taught in the Hall of Tyranus after the Synagogue rulers made it too difficult for the larger gatherings to meet there….  But they also continued to meet and fellowship from house to house too…
v21… Testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks… Paul wanted to preach all the word of God to all people.

Acts 20: 22- 27                            NKJV
22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.

Acts 20: 22-27                            slt 2000
22 Und siehe, jetzt reise ich gebunden im Geist nach Jerusalem, ohne zu wissen, was mir dort begegnen wird,
23 außer daß der Heilige Geist von Stadt zu Stadt Zeugnis gibt und sagt, daß Fesseln und Bedrängnisse auf mich warten.
24 Aber auf das alles nehme ich keine Rücksicht; mein Leben ist mir auch selbst nicht teuer, wenn es gilt, meinen Lauf mit Freuden zu vollenden und den Dienst, den ich von dem Herrn Jesus empfangen habe, nämlich das Evangelium der Gnade Gottes zu bezeugen.
25 Und nun siehe, ich weiß, daß ihr mein Angesicht nicht mehr sehen werdet, ihr alle, bei denen ich umhergezogen bin und das Reich Gottes verkündigt habe.
26 Darum bezeuge ich euch am heutigen Tag, daß ich rein bin von aller Blut.
27 Denn ich habe nichts verschwiegen, sondern habe euch den ganzen Ratschluß Gottes verkündigt.
v22… I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there… Paul didn't know what was ahead of him…. he even had reason to believe it was bad….. But that didn't freak him out…..
v23… Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me… Paul recognized the dangerous road ahead of him… By now it had been he life….danger and hard times were his almost daily bread…. What an example of loving sacrifice for others…. Paul was totally willing to lay down his life for the gospel of the grace of God….
v24a… but none of these things move me… Nor do I count my life dear to myself…  Paul does not count his own life dear to him….. He knew that the Lord had forgiven and redeemed him….. He only wanted to be useful to his master….
v24b… So that I may finish my race with joy…. Paul thought of himself as a runner who had a race to finish… and nothing would keep Paul from finishing the race with joy…..   Paul speaks of my race - he had his race to run….. We have our own race to run in this life…  God calls on us to finish it with joy….. Chuck Smith….. Larry Anderson…. Psalm 92….
Psalm 92: 13, 14                      NLT   Neues Leben
13 For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God.
14 Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.
14 Denn sie sind im Hause des Herrn gepflanzt und blühen in den Vorhöfen unseres Gottes.
15 Noch im hohen Alter werden sie Frucht bringen und werden grün und lebendig bleiben,
Both men preached their last sermon 2 days before they died… Last week….
v24c…  and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God……
This is Paul´s life…. He testified of the Grace of God…..
1 In his own conversion… The chief of sinners saved by grace through faith… Eph 2:8-10
2 in his own life and ministry… He proclaimed the grace of God to Jew and Gentile…. No matter what the cost…. His love compelled him…. 2 cor 5:14….
3 In his suffering… The list is so long….. 2 Corinthians 6 gives a good one for us to read when we think that our Christian life is too hard… Paul was determined to follow Jesus…. He did not turn back…..
v25….  will see my face no more….. Paul loved these precious believers…. He willingly…. even joyfully followed the path that the Lord was showing him…. But he also knew how much he wanted to help and protect the believers that he was saying good bye to…
v26… I am innocent of the blood of all men… Paul´s conscience was clear….. He could leave these Christians to God's care…. He knew that he had given them the whole counsel of God…..
v27… The whole counsel of God…. Paul correctly thought of himself as a Shepherd to these believers and these elders…. He cared for and protected the flock that the Lord had placed in his care… He was careful to pour out the whole counsel of God's word…..
Where are those who today declare the whole counsel of God? Paul warned that in the last days….. people would not endure sound doctrine….. but look for teachers who would tell them what they want to hear….. teachers who will scratch their itching ears (2 Timothy 4:3)…..
Preachers who deliberately fail to declare the whole Gospel… the whole counsel of God are guilty of watering down the truth….. The preacher who only preaches what his audience wants to hear…. and not the whole counsel of God…. hurts both his audience and himself!
Paul poured out his life for the church….. He laid down his life for the Good News of the Gospel….. everyday….. It was his reasonable service to his Savior the Lord Jesus Christ…. Romans 12..v1…
He did indeed testify to the Grace of God in His life… faithful with every step and every breath….
Paul testified of the Grace of God
1 in his own conversion
2 in his own life and ministry
3 in his suffering
Turn with me to 2 Corinthians 6…v..1…

2 Corinthians 6: 1- 10                  NKJV slt 2000
1 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
3 We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed.
4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, 5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; 6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, 7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
8 by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

2 Corinthians 6: 1- 10                  NKJV slt 2000
1 Aber als Mitarbeiter ermahnen wir euch auch, die Gnade Gottes nicht vergeblich zu empfangen.
2 Denn es heißt: »Zur angenehmen Zeit habe ich dich erhört und am Tag des Heils dir geholfen«.1 Siehe, jetzt ist die angenehme Zeit; siehe, jetzt ist der Tag des Heils!
3 Wir geben niemand irgend einen Anstoß, damit der Dienst nicht verlästert wird;
4 sondern in allem empfehlen wir uns als Diener Gottes: in viel standhaftem Ausharren2, in Bedrängnissen, in Nöten, in Ängsten,
5 unter Schlägen, in Gefängnissen, in Unruhen, in Mühen, im Wachen, im Fasten;
6 in Keuschheit, in Erkenntnis, in Langmut, in Freundlichkeit, im Heiligen Geist, in ungeheuchelter Liebe;
7 im Wort der Wahrheit, in der Kraft Gottes, durch die Waffen der Gerechtigkeit in der Rechten und Linken;
8 unter Ehre und Schande, bei böser und guter Nachrede; als »Verführer« und doch wahrhaftig,
9 als Unbekannte und doch wohlbekannt, als Sterbende — und siehe, wir leben; als Gezüchtigte, und doch nicht getötet;
10 als Betrübte, aber immer fröhlich, als Arme, die doch viele reich machen; als solche, die nichts haben und doch alles besitzen.

Let´s pray….

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