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Summary: Eutychus raised from the dead. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading: Acts 20:1-12:

• In 1 Corinthians 15:32, the apostle Paul makes a cryptic,

• Yet incisive reference to his time in Ephesus:

“I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus”

• That was his description of the frenzied riot he and his companions,

• Had just endured in chapter 19 verses 23-41.

• Snarling and angry, Demetrius and his mob,

• Were ready to tear them all apart in a bloody rage.

Fortunately, though:

• God used a simple town clerk (vs 35)

• To quiet them down and restore reason.

• So what had crescendoed to a roar,

• Soon dissipated into a shuffling murmur as the people went home.

• With peace reestablished and the growing church safe,

• Paul now decides that the time is right to move on.

• Actually, he had already made up his mind to go in chapter 19 verse 21:

• We join him as he packs his bags and charts a course to Macedonia,

Note: Chapter 20 is the start of another change in Paul’s ministry:

• It is noticeable at the beginning of the chapter,

• And more noticeable as we advance through the book.

• Up to now Paul has been involved in pioneer work,

• He has gone into new areas and founded new churches.

• Now in Acts chapter 20 and onwards he goes to established churches,

• And gives them some final advice and encouragement.

Leaving Ephesus, Ministering in Macedonia:

• Paul has laced up his sandals and his suitcase is by the door,

• But before he sets off, he has one more loose end to tie up.

Exhortation (vs 1-2):

“When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia.

He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people,

and finally arrived in Greece,”

• After three years of ministry in Ephesus,

• A good number of people had trusted Christ, they had become disciples.

• Evangelism, sharing the message, isn’t what’s crucial now,

• But exhortation, encouraging these disciples to keep going forward.

• The word for encouragement is used three times, verses 1, 2 & 12.

• And is a key theme throughout this chapter.

Look at one word for a moment:

• This word translated “Encouraging” in the N.I.V.

• Or the word “Embracing” & “Exhortation” in the King James Bible.

It is a great word “Exhortation” but not a word in common usage:

• The Greek word for “exhort” is ‘paraka1e’:

• A word which literally means, “to call alongside, to help.”

Ill:

‘Para’ means alongside.

• Para-lell bars one bar alongside another.

• Para-chute is a chute alongside.

• The Holy Spirit is called the “Paracltos”

• The called alongside one who helps or comforts us (John 14:26).

An exhortation:

• Is when you draw alongside somebody to encourage, to help and to strengthen them,

• Exhortation can mean a variety of things,

• It may be a word of warning, or a word of rebuke.

• It may be a word of comfort or a word of encouragement,

• Exhortation was a gift Paul had,

• And he paused to employ it before leaving the Ephesians and going to Macedonia.

Ill:

Man said to Billy Graham “He had the gift of criticism”.

• Many have it and that is not from God!


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