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The Scriptorium

Journey Resumed

Paul moves on.

Acts (18)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27

The video for lesson 18 is the same as for lesson 17. You can view it by clicking here (scroll down to Lesson 17).

Read and meditate on Acts 20.1-6. Paul read the events in Ephesus as signaling his need to resume his missionary journey. He had stopped in Ephesus for more than two years, but now it was time to move on, so that he might look into the state of the churches elsewhere and continue the work essential for building the churches.

For reflection
1.  Paul perhaps rightly assumed that any continuing ministry on his part in Ephesus would have created more demonstrations and outcries – if not worse – and he appears to have been persuaded that the Ephesians, now properly ordered with elders in every church (cf. Acts 20, Titus 1.5), could manage things themselves. What roles or functions tell us that elders are doing the work God intends for them?

2.  Paul headed off to Macedonia and Greece. His old enemies had not forgotten him, however, and seemed resolute in their determination to be done with him once and for all. This situation, on the heels of what happened in Ephesus, seems to have spoken volumes to Paul about his future. He escaped the Jews’ plot. How should we relate to those in our Personal Mission Field who don’t like us because of what we believe?

3.  As Paul began his return to Antioch, we see joining him men whose names we will hear again in various of his epistles. In spite of danger and uncertainty, Paul worked to strengthen churches, recruiting and developing leaders to ensure the continuity of the ongoing work of Christ after he and his generation are gone. Why is it so important that churches have a plan for developing elders and other leaders?Looking at Paul’s work, what might such a plan involve?

4.  We’re now beginning to get the names of more men who leave their homes and occupations to become part of Paul’s ministry. Is Paul sensing that his days on earth may be drawing to an end? Or is he simply doing what he’s supposed to do, what he knew Jesus had done, in making it a priority of his ministry to identify, recruit, train, equip, and enlist leaders for the days to come? Explain.

5.  What does or should your church do to ensure there will always be fresh leaders for the generation to come?

Luke almost seems to be preparing us for the winding-down of Paul’s ministry. Actually, he’s showing us the ongoing work of Christ as the Spirit works to prepare new leaders for the succeeding generation. No amount of opposition can prevent the Kingdom from expanding. In the face of threats on every hand, Paul kept working to strengthen the churches and provide them with effective leaders. Can a church be said to be truly and firmly established if it fails to work toward the future in this way? Explain.

Closing Prayer
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.

Psalm 46.1-5

T. M. Moore

Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies in Acts.

Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. This is the work of bringing the Kingdom of God to earth as it is in heaven. Read more about the implications of this work in our new book,
The Kingdom Turn (click here).

Please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Or, you can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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