Acts 20 … Consider the Word of His Grace

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, (20:32).

The world often mishandles the concept of grace. Grace can be defined as “beauty of form, manner or action.” Suffice it to say that many of the events surrounding Paul’s ministry would not necessarily be described as beautiful.

Grace is also defined as “a pleasing or attractive quality.” And to the mind’s eye, Paul’s difficulties, fleeing for his life amidst persecutions, would not be deemed as pleasing or attractive. How many of us would be attracted or pleased with the demands of constant threats on our well-being, and even our very lives?

However, Biblical Grace is indeed very beautiful, pleasing and attractive; but that does not begin to explain the full intent of His Grace. For God’s ultimate aim in His offer of Grace is to transform lives to experience the joy found in His unmerited and undeserved favor, lived out in unabashed gratitude for His great kindness.

From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: 5485. χάρις cháris; gen. cháritos, fem. noun from chaírō (5463), to rejoice. Grace, particularly that which causes joy, pleasure, gratification, favor, acceptance, for a kindness granted or desired, a benefit, thanks, gratitude. A favor done without expectation of return; the absolutely free expression of the loving kindness of God to men finding its only motive in the bounty and benevolence of the Giver; unearned and unmerited favor.

And Paul understood the true worth and ramifications of Grace. He was a life transformed, experiencing unequaled joy. And fueled by his incessant gratitude, Paul committed his entire life to this gospel of Grace.

But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God,” (20:24).

Paul, undone and transformed by the Grace of God, committed every moment of every day to the ministry of the Word of His Grace, no matter the cost.

“You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews;” (20:18-19).

His entire life since meeting his Lord Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, was redirected, consumed and driven by that which had so radically and completely redirected, consumed and driven him; his Grace relationship with Almighty God through faith in His Son, revealed in the truth of the Gospel, the Word of His Grace.

Paul, convinced this was to be his last opportunity to be face to face with his dearly beloved Ephesians, imparts his final words. And in this last meeting, he commits his beloved church to the most needed essentials… God and the Word of His Grace.

Consider the Word of His Grace

The Word of His Grace clarifies true profit.
…I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house,” (20:20).

The Word of His Grace is available to all.
solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks…”

The Word of His Grace extends His kind gift of repentance through faith.
“…of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ,” (20:21).

The Word of His Grace declares the whole purpose of God.
“For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God,” (20:27).

The Word of His Grace strengthens, secures and sanctifies.
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, (20:32).

How do we respond to the Word of His Grace?

The most expected response is easily expressed in the words, “Have faith no matter what.”

But we have not been called to mere lip service; we all have been called to life service, and the truth is, that is not easy.

Lately, I have been reminded by many ongoing events in the lives of many I love, that life is hard, and often faith is not easy. But as Oswald Chambers says, “Faith by its very nature demands to be tested.”

The biblical definition of Grace is what we need to cling to; not what might be beautiful, pleasing and attractive to our own understanding. We hold fast to our faithful God with joy and gratitude for His kindness in reaching down to freely express His love to us through the sacrifice of His Only Son.

And because Paul was so completely transformed by the Word of His Grace, he could face his future, with joy and gratitude, regardless.

And now, behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me, (20:22-23).

May we learn the lessons from Paul’s life, radically and completely redirected, consumed and driven by the Word of His Grace:

Do not be surprised when an uproar occurs by the Word of His Grace.
After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples… (20:1).

Be an encourager through the Word of His Grace
…and when he had exhorted them and taken his leave of them, he left to go to Macedonia. When he had gone through those districts and had given them much exhortation, he came to Greece, (20:1).

Present the Word of His Grace with boldness, yet in humility and tears.
“serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews ; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house,” (20:19-20).

Pray for our pastors (and ourselves) to guard the purity of the Word of His Grace.
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood… 31 Therefore be on the alert,” (20:28, 31).

Know well the Word of His Grace, so as to recognize that which is contrary to truth.
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them,” (20:29-30).

Admonish others with humility by the Word of His Grace.
“…remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears,” (20:31).

Work hard as a minister of the Word of His Grace.
You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. 35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive,’ (20:34-35).

Oh, that we too would be radically and completely redirected, consumed and driven so as to commit our very lives to the Word of His Grace, that we may be strengthened, secured and sanctified as we await our inheritance with Him forever.

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, (20:32).

Let’s Grow Together!

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