Chapter Twenty — Part Twelve: The Book of Acts

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 11/13/2022

Foundation Scriptures:
Acts 20:31

1. Therefore Watch.
a. Acts 20:31 NKJV — Therefore watch…
b. Watch (Greek gregoreuo) – keep awake; be vigilant; wake; watchful; give strict attention to; be cautious; active.
c. Watch—be alert and on your guard (Vs. 31 AMPC).
d. 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6 NKJV — You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
e. All Christians, everywhere, are exhorted to always be sober, watchful, aware, and conscientious.
f. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Wuest — Be keeping a watchful eye ever open. Be standing fast in the Faith. Be showing yourselves to be men. Be mighty in strength. All that you are doing, let it be done in love.

2. Warning with Tears.
a. Acts 20:31 NKJV — …and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
b. Warn (Greek noutheteō) – warn; admonish; exhort; strongly advise.
c. Acts 20:31 AMPC — Therefore be always alert and on your guard, being mindful that for three years I never stopped night or day seriously to admonish and advise and exhort you one by one with tears.
d. Paul was a genuine and godly minister of the Gospel, and warm, tender-hearted, and compassionate toward others.
e. He loved and cared deeply for them, their salvation, and eternal destination.
f. So, for the whole three years that he was with them, he warned, admonished, and exhorted them with tears—not to shame them, but to warn and counsel them as beloved children (1 Cor. 4:14).
g. In a nutshell, he was counselling them—as he would do for us as well—to serve the Lord with all their heart, mind, and strength, to run their race well, and to finish the course.
h. He warned them to keep their heart right, avoid any pitfalls along the way, and to not be unaware of the enemy’s tactics against them.

3. Respect for Leadership and Correction.
a. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 AMPC — Now also we beseech you, brethren, get to know those who labor among you [recognize them for what they are, acknowledge and appreciate and respect them all] — your leaders who are over you in the Lord and those who warn and kindly reprove and exhort you. 13 And hold them in very high and most affectionate esteem in [intelligent and sympathetic] appreciation of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
b. Your godly leaders—called and appointed by the Father and anointed by the Holy Spirit—who are over you in the Lord, are responsible to warn and kindly reprove and exhort you.
c. Recognize and acknowledge their authority as representatives of Christ in your midst.
d. Hold them in high and affectionate esteem—even as they lovingly care for you.
e. Respectfully appreciate them, and joyfully receive their godly counsel.
f. There is peace in the Church, the Body of Christ, when everyone holds themselves accountable to the Word of God and to each other.

4. Accountability.
a. 2 Thessalonians 3:13-15 AMPC — And as for you, brethren, do not become weary or lose heart in doing right [but continue in well-doing without weakening]. 14 But if anyone [in the church] refuses to obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but simply admonish and warn him as [being still] a brother.
b. Keep doing the right thing with the right heart attitude.
c. If a brother in the Lord is out of line and disobedient to the Word, do not encourage him in his error, but admonish him and hold him accountable—not as an enemy, but as family.
d. Paul earnestly beseeches us to admonish the lazy and the troublemakers, encourage the fainthearted, support the weak, be kind and patient with everybody, and look for every opportunity to do good to, and for, everybody (1 Thess. 5:14-15).

5. Competency.
a. Spiritual leadership has a responsibility to warn and admonish those in their care.
b. As responsible members of the Body of Christ, we also have an obligation to warn or admonish our fellow Christians when it is warranted—speaking the truth in love and showing God’s grace toward them.
c. We admonish—bringing loving correction—because we care about them and want to ensure they make Heaven.
d. This should not be confused with criticism born out of irritation or frustration.
e. Romans 15:14 AMPC — Personally I am satisfied about you, my brethren, that you yourselves are rich in goodness, amply filled with all [spiritual] knowledge and competent to admonish and counsel and instruct one another also.
f. Paul mentions two characteristics essential for believers to be competent to admonish, counsel, and instruct others.
g. They are: To be rich in goodness and to be amply filled with all spiritual knowledge through the Word of God.
h. Colossians 3:16 AMPC — Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts.
i. We must be full of, and filled up with, the Word of Christ, and allow it to dwell in us richly, in all wisdom.
j. And then the Word of God will overflow—flowing out of us—in preaching, teaching, and exhortation; in training, admonishing, and warning; and in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.

6. Spiritual Growth.
a. Colossians 1:28 AMPC — Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).
b. We preach the message of Christ—proclaiming, warning, admonishing, and instructing others.
c. The purpose is that all may grow in wisdom and the knowledge of God and His Word and become spiritually mature.