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Paul's Tender Care for the Church: Acts 20:33-38

December 17, 2023 Speaker: Bob DeWaay Series: Acts of the Apostles

Scripture: Acts 20:33-38

By Bob DeWaay

This teaching session covers the final verses of Acts 20 where Paul speaks to the elders of the church of Ephesus concerning his own practices and concerns for the church. Paul’s extended teaching to the Ephesian elders covers Acts 20:17-38.

Since the church at Ephesus addressed either directly or indirectly so often in the New Testament, we learn much about the very nature of the church, its leadership, teaching composition, practices, priorities, and eternal promises through careful study of all that relates to this church. That material is found in Acts 20, The Book of Ephesians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Revelation 2:1-7.

There is further material earlier in Acts from when Paul spent 18 months there. These scriptures show the importance to sound doctrine, eternal promises, the person and work of Christ, the integrity of church leadership (elders), the centrality of Christ and the gospel of His grace, and many other truths. This class discusses Paul’s avoidance of making his ministry a means of financial gain while practicing giving according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

We also discuss the importance of love for the Lord, love for the truth, and love for fellow believers. We cover the verses in Revelation 2 concerning the danger of the church leaving her first love. The passage in Revelation about the Nicolaitans is part of our class discussion as well.

These are likely linked to another rebuke in Revelation which mentions Balaam. The rebuke concerns compromise with the pagans regarding pagan immorality. We end with Paul’s tender-hearted departure from his meeting with the Ephesian elders, leaving to not see them again as he heads to Jerusalem.