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Chapter Twenty — Part Five: The Book of Acts

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 09/25/2022

Foundation Scriptures:
Acts 20:20-21

1. Holding Nothing Back.
a. Paul was addressing the Ephesian elders, speaking to them of his work among them and the testimony of his life and service.
b. Acts 20:20a NKJV — …how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you,
c. Kept back (Greek hypostellō) – to withhold under (out of sight); to cower or shrink; to conceal; draw back; keep back; shun; withdraw.
d. It is a medical word used of withholding food from patients.
e. Paul, in his preaching, withheld nothing from them that was helpful, but he preached all the counsel of God—the whole, full counsel of God (Acts 20:27).
f. It is not enough to preach on what to NOT do—but we must also preach on what TO do.
g. Not only should we preach on what is hurtful and harmful, or to warn of dangers—but we should also preach on what is helpful, and what is profitable.
h. Isaiah 48:17 AMPC — Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way that you should go.
i. We preach to help people, and to teach them to serve God, and to profit and be blessed in every area of their lives—just as the Lord wills and desires for them.
j. 1 Corinthians 10:33 KJV — Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
k. 1 Corinthians 7:35 AMPC — Now I say this for your own welfare and profit, not to put [a halter of] restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly and in good order and to secure your undistracted and undivided devotion to the Lord.
l. Religion puts yokes on people, but the Gospel sets them free from sin and bondage.
m. Because we believers are the righteousness of God in Christ, we are free to love God and to serve Him.
n. We may enter and enjoy His presence at any time.

2. Serving.
a. Acts 20:20b NKJV — …and taught you publicly and from house to house,
b. Paul had nothing to hide and preached openly and publicly, where all could hear and see.
c. He also was willing to go from house to house to minister to anyone and everyone—wherever and whenever he had the opportunity.
d. He was not lazy, neither did he squander any opportunity.
e. He preached, taught, and ministered—working tirelessly and patiently, with a servant’s heart.

3. Consistent and Impartial.
a. Acts 20:21 NKJV — …testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
b. Paul preached the same message to both Jews and Gentiles—repentance and faith.
c. The preacher of the Gospel must minister without partiality.
d. Romans 2:11 AMPC — For God shows no partiality [undue favor or unfairness; with Him one man is not different from another].
e. Every person must come to God on the exact same basis—both Jews and Gentiles.
f. This is still the message we are to preach—through the ages, nothing has changed.
g. Do not be tempted to preach any other message or to compromise the message based on the hearers.
h. Simply preach the Truth of the Gospel just as you see the apostles do.
i. 2 Timothy 4:2 AMPC — Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching.
j. Nothing should influence you to change the message or to water it down—not persecution nor the need for acceptance.
k. Do not be like Jonah either—who did not want to preach to Nineveh, nor see God’s forgiveness extended toward them.
l. Even though some Jews had abused Paul and treated him despicably, still he took every opportunity to preach the Gospel to Jews, as well as Gentiles.

4. What We Can Learn from Paul.
a. Paul was a preacher of Gospel Truth.
b. He preached the Gospel—repentance and faith—not philosophy or intellectualism (Col. 2:8) or with doubtful disputations (Rom. 14:1).
c. Paul was a plain and straightforward preacher.
d. He showed them the plain truths of the Gospel.
e. He preached to be understood and taught them in the same way that you would teach children.
f. He did not leave anything out and he did not embellish the message.
g. Paul was a powerful preacher.
h. He preached as one personally convinced of the Truth he proclaimed—because it was real to him.
i. He preached under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
j. He did not preach in a “take it or leave it” kind of way—but he preached seriously and conscientiously—to convince and influence them into the Kingdom.
k. Paul was a profitable preacher.
l. He preached what was for their good and profit—to make them wiser and better.
m. Not only to inform their conscience and judgment but to transform their hearts and reform their lives.
n. Paul was a faithful preacher.
o. He preached what would be profitable to them—even at the risk of offending them.
p. He did not preach what was merely acceptable or fashionable—but he preached the Cross—which was to the Gentiles, foolishness; and to the Jews, a stumbling-block.
q. He preached to all, alike—together with both reproofs and exhortations.

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