2018-07-06

Paul's zeal for the gospel

We read the remarkable valedictory address given by the Apostle Paul to the elders of the Assembly at Ephesus, and recorded in Acts 20: 17— 35. He had preached the Glad Tidings in Ephesus, souls had been saved, an assembly had been formed, and in this address we see something of his deep exercise and longing for their spiritual prosperity; and his intense desire that they might be preserved from the ravages of the enemy, whether from within or without. We must notice a few points just in passing.

He served the Lord (a) “With all humility of mind, and with many tears” (v. 19).

(b) He pressed home two essential things, “Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 21). Do WE PREACH THESE?

(c) He could declare himself “pure from the blood of all men” (v. 26).

(d) He laboured for the building up of the saints and therefore declared unto them “All the counsel of God” (v. 27). We have evidence of this in the Epistle to the Assembly at Ephesus.

(e) Realizing the grace of God as the source of everything, he uttered the thrilling words of verse 24 which we must quote from the New Translation:

“I make no account of my life as dear to myself, so that I finish my course, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus to testify THE GLAD TIDINGS OF THE GRACE OF GOD.”

What words are these! He might be termed an enthusiast, and he was; some might label him a monomaniac, a man of one idea. He certainly had one thing before him, to live, to serve, to die proclaiming the Glad Tidings. This he did and encouraged others to do so, for among his last words are these: “PREACH THE WORD” (2 Timothy 4:2).

How marvellous this conception of the grace of God.

W.B.D.


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