Chapter Twenty — Part One: The Book of Acts

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 08/28/2022

Foundation Scriptures:
Acts 20:1-6

1. Departure from Ephesus.
a. Acts 20:1 KJV — And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia.
b. Once the tumult; uproar; or breach of public order ceased, Paul departed.
c. Embraced (Greek aspazomai) — to enfold in the arms, i.e. (by implication) to salute, (figuratively) to welcome; embrace; greet; salute; take leave.
d. He did not leave abruptly, as he was compelled to in other cities, but he took his time to say a proper goodbye to his Christian family and dear friends.
e. Paul had remained longer in Ephesus than at any other place since he had been ordained as an apostle to the Gentiles.
f. Paul departed for Macedonia—most likely visiting Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, and other places—winning new converts, training disciples, and strengthening the Church.
g. From this time, until he was imprisoned—according to the scripture record—he did not break open any new places but revisited the places he had formerly pioneered.
h. Romans 15:20 NKJV — And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation.

2. Greece.
a. Acts 20:2 KJV — And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece.
b. The Greek cities he may have visited, include Athens, Corinth, and Cenchrea.
c. He had planted these Greek churches and he watered them more than once.
d. 1 Corinthians 3:7-8 NKJV — So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
e. He went through those districts, giving them much exhortation—warning, consoling, urging, and encouraging the brethren with much discourse.
f. Acts 20:3a KJV — And there abode three months.
g. He spent three months in Greece and planned to sail into Syria.

3. Macedonia.
a. Acts 20:3b KJV — And when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia.
b. When he learned that the Jews were lying in wait to ambush him, instead of sailing for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia by land.
c. We have this promise from the Lord, that the enemy would not catch us unawares, and we will always be a step ahead of him and his evil plots and plans.
d. Psalm 92:11 AMPC — My eye looks upon those who lie in wait for me; my ears hear the evildoers that rise up against me.
e. No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against you in judgment, you shall show to be wrong (Isa. 54:17).
f. Sometimes plans need to be changed because of circumstances, but we can be at peace knowing that we are in God’s hands, and He is leading us and guiding us and going before us to make our path straight.
g. Ultimately, we are working for Him and are at His disposal to go wherever He wants us to go and to do whatever He wants us to do.
h. Our job is to be a blessing, wherever we are and wherever we go, and He will take care of us.

4. Paul’s Traveling Companions.
a. Acts 20:4 KJV — And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.
b. These were Paul’s traveling companions and fellow workers in the Truth.
c. Sopater of Berea is only mentioned once, here.
d. Aristarchus and Secundus were Thessalonians (Acts 20:4; 27:2; Col. 4:10; Phm. 1:24).
e. Gaius was from Derbe.
f. Timothy was one of Paul’s most favored sons in the Lord, and for good reason—he was a faithful, anointed, and godly, leader, pastor, and minister.
g. Tychicus was also one of Paul’s trusted companions.
h. Paul refers to Tychicus as a beloved brother, a faithful minister, and a fellow servant in the Lord (Eph. 6:21; Col. 4:7; 2 Tim. 4:12; Tit. 3:12).
i. Acts 20:5 NKJV — These men, going ahead, waited for us at Troas.
j. These men went on ahead and were waiting for Paul (and Luke) at Troas.

5. Troas.
a. Acts 20:6 KJV — And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days.
b. The “days of unleavened bread” is mentioned to indicate the season of the year that they sailed from Philippi, it is not intimating that they observed this Jewish feast.
c. Every Jewish feast was merely a type and shadow of Jesus, and His completed work on the cross of Calvary, His death, and resurrection.
d. Hebrews 8:13 AMPC — When God speaks of a new [covenant or agreement], He makes the first one obsolete (out of use). And what is obsolete (out of use and annulled because of age) is ripe for disappearance and to be dispensed with altogether.
e. As Paul tells us in his letter to the Corinthians:
f. 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 AMPC — Purge (clean out) the old leaven that you may be fresh (new) dough, still uncontaminated [as you are], for Christ, our Passover [Lamb], has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with leaven of vice and malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened [bread] of purity (nobility, honor) and sincerity and [unadulterated] truth.
g. We keep the feast of unleavened bread by living a sanctified and godly life—by purging and rejecting sin—and by continuing to develop a pure and sincere heart, and manner of life.