I Kept Back Nothing – 1/26/17 AM

 

I Kept Back Nothing

Acts 20:20

Intro: Imagine this being said at your funeral?  Imagine this being my and your testimony!  Paul is bidding farewell to his friends and the elders at the church of Ephesus.  The Bible is clear in verse 25 and in verse 38 that they all knew it was their last time seeing each other.

I got to thinking…how glad I am that God kept back nothing!

  • Psalms 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

1. He kept back nothing in Creation

  • Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

2. He kept back nothing in Revelation

  • II Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

3. He kept back nothing in Salvation

  • 2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Paul’s testimony was one that he KEPT NOTHING BACK.

Paul left it all on the field; he expended every resource he had available to Him.

I. He Kept Back Nothing in His Serving – vs. 19

  • 19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
  1. It was a Humble Servicewith all humility of mind
  2. It was a Heartfelt Serviceand with many tears (not a chore; drudgery, duty, but one of passion)
  3. It was a Harassed Servicemany temptations…by the lying in wait of the Jews

II. He Kept Back Nothing in the Scriptures – vs. 20, 21, 27

  • 20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
  • 21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
  1. Paul’s ministering of the Scripture was Profitable
  2. Paul’s ministering of the Scripture was Public
  3. Paul’s ministering of the Scripture was Personal (house to house)

III. He Kept Back Nothing in his Submission – vs. 22-24 (there’s a big difference in submission and surrender)

  • 22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

NOTE: The bonds on his hands were put there by man; the bonds on his heart and will were put there by God!!

  • 23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
  • 24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
  1. Notice his Unsure Anxiety – vs. 22 … not knowing the things that shall befall me there:
  2. Notice his Undesirable Afflictionssaying that bonds and afflictions abide me (abide: await; continue)
  3. Notice his Unselfish Attitudeneither count I my life dear unto myself

Paul said in essence, “I don’t know what is in store, but I do know that it will be more bonds and afflictions, and I don’t care – I’m more interested in finishing my course and my ministry and doing what God called me to do.”

IV. He Kept Back Nothing in his Soulwinning – vs. 25-26

  • 25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
  • 26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.

This was a concept that Paul used often in referring to his efforts to evangelize the unsaved.

  • Acts 18:4-6 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.

What a testimony! I am pure from the blood of all men.

He was saying, “If anybody in this region dies and goes to Hell, it won’t be my fault!”

Imagine if every member of Calvary Baptist Church could say: “I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.”

V. He Kept Back Nothing in Sounding the Alarm – vs. 27-31

  • 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
  • 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
  • 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
  • 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
  • 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

VI. He Kept Back Nothing in his Sacrificing – vs. 33-35

  • 32 And now, brethren, 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.
  • 33 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.
  • 34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
  • 35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

In closing, Paul reminded them that he had in NO WAY taken advantage of them.

He reminded them that he had worked with his own hands to provide both for himself and those travelling with him.

He also reminded them that BY EXAMPLE, he had contributed to the support of the weak, and that BY EXAMPLE he had shown them that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Paul’s last words to the elders of Ephesus was a reminder and a personal testimony to do their part to provide for the support of those that could not, and to pursue the blessings that are reserved only for those that GIVE!

 

Conclusion: Can you honestly say with Paul this morning – I HAVE KEPT BACK NOTHING?