Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A Leader is first a Servant. We must tear for the righteousness of the people


Holy Ground "Spirit Filled" Church

Pastor: Joe M. Garza

1-3-07 (Thursday Evening)

Text: Acts 20:17-21


The Book of Acts is a fast moving account of the spread of the Gospel through the Roman Empire in the first thirty years after Christ’s resurrection. But now Luke stops his fast moving story and let’s us hear a sermon. So he inspires us with the spread of the gospel from Jerusalem to Judea to

Samaria to the reaches of the empire. But he also stops to teach us what kind of doctrine and preaching and leadership was behind this wonderful advance of the kingdom

a. In Acts 18:23 Paul sets out from Antioch on his third and final missionary journey

----He travels up through Galatia and Phrygia (today’s Turkey) strengthening the disciples that he had made on his first journey

b. In Acts 19:1 he arrives in Ephesus and in verse 8 says that he spent the first three months arguing and pleading with the Jewish community about the kingdom of God

----WATCH ME! the opposition became so intense Paul moved out of the synagogue and for 2 years argued daily in the Hall of Tyranus

c. During these 2 years amazing things happened

----WATCH ME SO YOU CAN UNDERSTAND! God did many miracles of healing and exorcism through Paul

----People were delivered from the occult (witchcraft) and burned books worth 50,000 pieces of silver

*Paul’s success in evangelism was so great that the siversmiths who made silver shrines for the goddess Artemis feared their business and even the temple of Artemis itself were in danger of being ruined

----in other words; they stirred up a riot

*Paul leaves town then after more than 2 years of ministry.........He calls it 3 years in Acts 20:31

*He goes up through macedonia, and down into Greece and spends three winter months probably in Corinth (20:3). Then he heads back up through Macedonia in the spring, crosses over to Troas, where he preaches all night long and Eutychus fell asleep and fell out of the window (20:9). He sails on south and passes Ephesus in the boat because he is in a hurry to get to Jerusalem by Pentecost (20:16)

*But he puts in at Miletus about 20 miles south of Ephesus and sends for the Elders (leaders) of the church in Ephesus (v. 17)

---this helps put Paul’s words here in the right light

----he is in a hurry to get to Jerusalem by Pentecost and is cutting it close

----he is in a boat well out to sea

----he seems to be in charge of the journey....(20:16-he is the one who decides to sail past Ephesus)

----he orders the captain to navigate into the Miletus harbor, sends a messenger over the 20 some miles back up to Ephesus, and waits for the elders (leaders) of the church so that he can say to them what we read in Acts 20:17-23

*WATCH ME! The fact that Paul would go to this much trouble to give this message to the elders of the church personally and the fact that Luke would pause in his story and record the words for us make them very wonderful words to me

*I am very deeply moved by this speech and they show us so much of Pauls heart as well as his theology and his view of leadership

[The ending of this message is heart wrenching as he weeps with these friends and kisses them because he will never see them again until heaven.............................]


a. The one that we focus on today is that the future of the Ephesian church hangs on how its leaders serve the Lord

*Paul would have loved to see the whole church in Ephesus

*WATCH ME! His strength and schedule dictated that he limit himself to the one thing that was necessary

----in other words; he was talking to the elders

----if the elders go so goes the church in Ephesus

*So before Paul gives any instruction or warnings in verses 28-31 he simply reminds them how he served the Lord in those 3 years they had together

----some of us can’t even serve for 2 months because we want to be recognized first

----those that have been here since the beginning know what it is to perservere

b. Paul’s aim in reminding them about his own ministry was to instruct them about theirs

Acts 20:35 (NKJV)

I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive

----in other words; note "I have shown you!"

----my life has been my lesson for how to lead the flock of God

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