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Acts 20

Talks for Growing Christians

Concluding Events of Paul’s Third Missionary Journey

Acts 20

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Lesson Number 32

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Staying flexible is important in the work of the Lord.
  2. Being efficient is important in the work of the Lord.
  3. Encouraging elders is important in the work of the Lord.
  4. Setting the example is important in the work of the Lord.

Practical Application

  1. Pray a parting prayer.

Questions

  1. How do we see Paul’s flexibility demonstrated in this chapter?
  2. Why do we think Paul picked up Luke in Philippi?
  3. What slightly humorous event occurred in Troas?
  4. How did Paul show efficiency in his ministry?
  5. In what areas did Paul exhort the Ephesian elders to follow his example?

Answers

  1. He changed his travel plans when he learned of a plot against him. He was available to preach all night in Troas.
  2. Because Luke is the author of the book of Acts, and the pronouns change from “theythem” to “weus” in Acts 20:6
  3. While Paul was preaching a long sermon, a young man named Eutychus sank into a deep sleep (can’t we all relate to that!). He fell out of the window and was killed! Fortunately, since Paul was there, he was able to restore his life and continue preaching.
  4. He sent his team ahead by boat, but hiked to their destination instead, so he could have more time ministering. He had the Ephesian elders meet him in Miletus, so he would not get held up in Ephesus.
  5. He exhorted them not to be in the ministry for the money. He exhorted them to help the weak – the weak physically and the weak spiritually. He encouraged them to be examples themselves.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Review the important doctrine concerning elders in Acts 20. What is your church’s practice concerning elders? Does it match up with Scripture? The Bible teaches the plurality of elders. There is no difference between the office of elder, the office of bishop or overseer and the position of pastor in a church. The Holy Spirit makes a man an elder. It is the church’s responsibility to recognize the elders that the Holy Spirit is calling to their great work.
  2. Re-read Paul’s conversation with the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:17-35. He spoke with such confidence because he knew that he had done his job well. Discuss ways in which you can follow Paul’s example so you can have such confidence in your ministry.

Challenge

  1. Paul had a precious time of prayer before he departed from the Ephesian elders. Are you parting from someone this week? Pray a parting prayer.

Key Verses

  • “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.” Acts 20:7
  • “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28
  • “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” Acts 20:32

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