This story occurs at the end of Paul's third missionary journey. Next stop:
Jerusalem - where, in every city, the Holy Spirit informed Paul that chains
and tribulations await him.
It was at this time that in the city of Miletus - just twenty miles or so
away - he calls for the elders of the church in Ephesus. Gathering them
together, he gives them some final exhortations; letting them know that they
will not see his face again (v. 25). It was a tearful meeting; but in it,
Paul reveals much of what it was that drove him in his ministry. He reveals
certain values and priorities in his exhortations to the Ephesian elders.
They are good things for a church to review. May we embrace them as our
I. FAITHFULNESS TO DECLARE THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD (vv. 18-27).
A. He lived in an up-front manner (v. 18).
B. Serving with humility (v. 19).
C. Suffering tribulation (v. 19).
D. Keeping back nothing that was helpful (v. 20).
E. Teaching publically from house to house (v. 20).
F. Testifying repentance and faith in Christ to all (v. 21).
G. Willingly facing trouble without shrinking back (vv. 22-24).
H. Suffering loss (vv. 25).
I. Able to declare himself faithful (vv. 26-27).
II. ALERTNESS AGAINST FALSE TEACHERS AND FALSE DOCTRINE (vv. 28-31).
A. Taking heed to one's self (v. 28).
B. Taking heed to the flock which Christ purchased with His blood (v. 28).
C. Knowing that false teachers will arise:
1. From without (v. 29).
2. From within (v. 30).
D. Recalling all that was taught (v. 31).
III. THE WITNESS OF A CHRIST-LIKE CHARACTER (vv. 32-35).
A. Being commended to God's care and His word (v. 32).
B. Looking ahead to the inheritance we have in Christ (v. 32).
C. Keeping one's self from covetousness (v. 33).
D. Working to provide for one's self (vv. 34-35).
E. Living the words of Christ; that it is more blessed to give than to
receive (v. 35).