From the Second Reading for this coming Eighth Sunday after Trinity, Acts 20:27-38. Bible Study outline and highlights for this week are below…

A Bible Study Discussion Guide on Acts 20:27-38

Part One: The Circumstance: post Ephesus Riot/Gathering of Pastors

20:27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.

Two Verbs in one phrase: NOT Shrink from Declaring
Contrast Hupostello (withdraw under) / Apostello (send out)
The Whole Counsel of God (OT roots, e.g. Jer. 23:18, etc)
Why Not Shrink from Apostolic Task? (See Matt. 10:5ff, 16)

Part Two: Exhortation to Sent Shepherds and Warning to Sheep

28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

Object(s) of careful attention: yourselves, flock

Examples of careful attention: Jn 10 protect, lead, feed, talk
What is the Opposite? Crass neglect, Harmful attention
Trinitarian Basis of pastoral call: God, Son’s blood, Spirit
Sign/Glad Assurance both for Shepherd and for Flock
Word & Sacrament is Care for the Church (Acts 1-19 shows)

29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.

Compare what Jesus teaches in John 10:1-21

External Threat to the Flock–> “not sparing the flock”
Internal Threat to the Flock–> “draw away the disciples”

31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.

Illustration–Amber Alert/Crimson Alert: “BE ALERT”
Admonition: What is it? Who is it for?
With Tears: What might “tears” tell us about the Apostle?

Part Three: A Blessed Commendation

32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Different direction between “commAnd” and “commEnd”

Commend to Whom? Cp. Luther’s Morning Prayer

Commend to What? _____________________________

Two Promises of the Word attentively applied “for you”:
To ___________ you ____________
To___________ you ________________________________

The Word of God is the vehicle/instrument/means of “His grace”

Plain Water + The Word of His Grace =______________________
Baptism – The Word = ____________________

Ordinary Bread and Wine + The Word of His Grace =____________________
Communion – The Word =_______________________

Part Four: The Sermon Focus this Sunday

33 I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Ministry & life as the Spirit’s pastors and God’s flock is blessed giving of God’s help to others. Material help? Yes, but especially, particularly spiritual care and help in Word & Sacrament.

Part Five: The Sorrowful Send-off

36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, 38 being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.

Note the reciprocity and mutuality of caring for the weak.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who
weep” (see Rom. 12:9-18) The Apostle also gets what he gives.

Are tears a sign of weakness in others? In you? How reluctant
are we to be equally in need with others, or hesitant to be of help?

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