While Paul made haste to be at Jerusalem during Pentecost (Acts 20:16), he took special time to call for the Elders of Ephesus when he stopped at Miletus. This would be the Apostles last time to visit with his dear friends and to encourage them in the gospel. He reminded them what he had preached to them in public and private, "Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" ( Acts 20:21). He also charged them to take heed to their own ministry and to be careful to feed the church of God with a steady diet of nothing but the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, "Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood" (Acts 20:28). He also warned them of false preachers who would rise up from within them and preach a perverted gospel of works to draw followers after them, "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw disciples after them" (Acts 20:30). But, before he takes his leave from them he commends them to God, "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" (Acts 20:32). Notice several important lessons from these parting words.
1). He tells these dear believers to keep looking to God, "I commend you to God." What better instruction could any minister give to his congregation. Donít look to the Law, it will only serve to condemn you. Donít look to religious ceremony, it will only serve to befuddle you. Donít look to yourself, it will only serve to make you self righteous. Donít even look to the preacher, he is a sinner and needs grace just like you. Look to the Lord Jesus Christ to provide all things in salvation. He is made to the believer wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption (1Cor.1:30) Keep looking always to Him (Heb. 12:1-2; Isa. 45:22).
2). He also tells us how to look, "To the word of his grace." God has been pleased to give unto us His inspired word to teach us the gospel (Jn.20:31) The message of the Bible is Jesus Christ. The code of the Bible is Jesus Christ. The doctrine of the Bible is Jesus Christ. Salvation as it is taught in the Bible reveals that Godís salvation is in a person Jesus Christ.
3). Then, the Word of His grace is, "able to build you up." Not puff you up with pride and vain glory, but rather build you up and settle you upon the solid foundation, Jesus Christ (Isa. 28:18); and to give you an everlasting incorruptible inheritance in Christ alone (1 Peter 1:3-5).
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