- Acts 20:31-35
- Acts 20:31 (KJB)
- Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased
not to warn every one night and day with tears.
- Paul now gives the Elders a command. The word “watch” in the Greek is in
the Imperative mood which makes it a command. Elders must be very vigilant
when it comes to screening any teachings coming into the church and it is
not a suggestion. The reason that many churches are in bad shape today
spiritually, is because the leadership is biblically illiterate. When elders
are picked because of their giving or their friendship with the pastor,
instead of their biblical astuteness, then that church has begun its slide
into apostasy. Paul had been with the Ephesians for three years and he never
ceased to warn them about the false teachers and teachings. He made himself
available to them at all hours and not just Sunday morning or when it is
convenient. His ministry among them was not just informational but personal
which brought him to the point of tears, which means he cared for them as a
parent cares for a child.
- Acts 20:32 (KJB)
- And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace,
which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance
among all them which are sanctified.
- Build…up - As a workman who builds on the foundation of a building. The
quality of the building will depend upon the quality of the work
done and the materials used.
- Paul now commits them to God and the word of his grace, which can build
a person up. The word used for “build..up” speaks about the quality of the
materials used along with the workmanship. Paul uses this word to emphasize
that it is the word of God which builds up the Christian and not some
commentaries or books about the Bible. When we build upon the Scriptures and
use them as our foundation, the building we build will be strong. If we
build them on man’s words about the Bible, the building will be weak and
subject to cracks in the walls meaning that rain can come in, or in other
words, that false teachings will be able to seep in and weaken the building
further. God Himself will be able to give them the inheritance of the Saints
in Heaven because they are in Christ and not just part of a congregation.
The blood bought Christians of Ephesus, as other Christians, have a
wonderful future. (Eph 1:18 KJV) The eyes of your understanding
being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and
what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
- Acts 20:33 (KJB)
- I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
- Since Paul knew of the great inheritance he has along with the rest of
the true Christians, he had never desired to have anyone’s money or their
fine apparel or any other thing which could cause a believer to stray from
the truth to covetousness. Paul was free from the evil of coveting worldly
goods and his lifestyle among them had proven that. Too bad the charlatans
in the modern charismatic movement do not read this verse along with Acts 2.
- Acts 20:34 (KJB)
- Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my
necessities, and to them that were with me.
- The Ephesian elders knew fully well that Paul exhibited that humility in
the area of financial gifts. Instead of going to people he knew, and he
obviously knew some wealthy people, to ask for financial help, he stayed
free of all and any quid pro quo situations thus keeping him free to preach
the Gospel. Once you start accepting favors from people, you literally
become indebted to them and then feel an obligation toward them. This not
only causes a preacher to become bound in his preaching but could cause him
to become totally controlled by a wealthy person. Paul became a tent maker
and that kept him free of any ties to anyone so he was able to preach the
whole counsel of God. This is why it is a great idea for Christians who wish
to get involved in ministry to raise their own funds so they will not be
indebted to someone who will want them to tailor the Gospel according to
what they want to hear. Paul knew that as he saw all of the false teachers
who were involved with nefarious characters, even the leaders of Israel were
crooks. (Ezek 22:25 KJV) There is a conspiracy of her prophets in
the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured
souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her
many widows in the midst thereof.
- Quid pro quo - Basically means, if you do something for me, I will do
something for you.
- Acts 20:35 (KJB)
- I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support
the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is
more blessed to give than to receive.
- Paul had worked with his hands so that he could be an example to others.
He showed them that when they work for a living, they will be able to not
only support their ministries but they would also be able to help those who
are weak, which would be the spiritually weak by helping them learn the
Bible and also those who are physically weak and maybe cannot work who need
financial help to get by. The true mindset of the believer is that giving is
the way to live and not only receive. We may receive gifts from people but
we are not to look for them, instead we look for opportunities to give. In
one of His teaching sessions somewhere when He was on earth, the Lord Jesus
Christ stated that, “it is more blessed to give than receive.” For in giving
we receive. When a believer desires to give from what they make working, it
has the tendency to cut off any spirit of covetousness because generosity is
in total opposition to covetousness. As we give, the Lord gives to us, and
as He gives to us, we continue to perform ministry with it. (Luke
6:38 KJV) Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down,
and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For
with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
If you are generous, God will be generous. If you are stingy, then God will
withhold blessings. It is as simple as that. Keep in mind another great
principle, that whatever investments we make in the Kingdom of God, they are
eternal. I would like to see the stock market match that.