Acts 20:21-25
Acts 20:21 (KJB)
Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul then tells the elders that he held nothing back from them and gives two primary teachings. First, he spoke of the need of repentance. Repentance is not only a change of ones life, going from sin to salvation, but repentance means a change of mind toward something, especially sin. Since the Jews disbelieved that Jesus was the Messiah, it was necessary for them to repent of those thoughts, that is, they needed to redirect their mind toward the Lord Jesus Christ as Messiah. Then on the heels of repentance, they need to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. In the Greek text, the words “repentance” and “faith” are in the Accusative case. The Accusative case is used to express the idea of direction, extent, and end of an action. Therefore once their faith is in the Lord Jesus Christ, it would have a home and it would never seek to be anywhere else. Their repentance toward God must also take place because it was He who sent His Son into the world and those who reject Him are rejecting the Father. When a person is given repentance and faith, then they have become saved.
Acts 20:22 (KJB)
And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:
Paul then reveals to them the reason he is seeing them for the last time because now he goes to Jerusalem being bound by the Holy Spirit for this journey. He must go there and this time he does not know what is waiting for him. This is why Paul sent for the elders of the Ephesian church, so that he may give them one last bit of encouragement.
Acts 20:23 (KJB)
Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
Bonds - Shackles or imprisonment
The Holy Spirit had witnessed to Paul wherever he was ministering that when he went to Jerusalem, he would be facing persecution and possibly some type of chains as the verse mentions bonds. The Holy Spirit had forewarned Paul concerning his impending challenges at Jerusalem so this way, those places where Paul was ministering would not be taken by surprise when something would befall him and this way they would also be able to pray and possibly minister to him in that situation. Paul would also know what was about to happen to him so he could be prepared. Paul had known these things as part of his life concerning the ministry so what would happen to him in Jerusalem would be just like any other place he ministered.
Acts 20:24 (KJB)
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Dear - Precious or esteemed
Here is the typical apostle Paul as he states that even though he knows the persecution is coming in Jerusalem and that it may be the end of his earthly life, he refuses to avoid the situation but is willing to go. The threat of danger did not deter Paul from fulfilling his ministry. Throughout his entire ministry, he has committed every situation unto the Lord and now he does the same thing. Paul did not consider his life dear to himself because if he was to be martyred at Jerusalem, then he would be able to finish his course in this life with much joy, having given all for the Lord Jesus. His earthly ministry consisted of being a testimony to the grace of God which he himself experienced being one who was complicit in the murder of Stephen. He was not about to be turned back by fear. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ gave him assurance of his own resurrection. (2 Cor 5:8 KJV) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Acts 20:25 (KJB)
And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
Paul tells them straight out that this will be his final farewell to the Ephesians as they will never see him again on this side of the grave. He was not drawing attention to himself nor was he trying to elicit sympathy for himself. The fact that since this was his last visit with them means that in previous times he was able to preach the Gospel and establish the teachings among them. Now, that has come to the end and it will now be up to the elders of the church to study the Scriptures and to carry on the ministry of evangelism and discipleship. They must now carry on the preaching of the grace of God and the kingdom of God which is the body of believers on earth and Heaven. There is only one Gospel and that includes the present rule of God in this world. (Eph 4:6 KJV) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.