Paul’s Address to the Ephesian Elders: Portrait of a Shepherd
Passage: Acts 20:18–20:32
“Paul’s Address to the Ephesian Elders: Portrait of a Shepherd”
Part 1: Paul talks about his own ministry in Ephesus and his own future (18-24).
Part 2: Paul uses his example of ministry as an encouragement to the elders in Ephesus to “keep watch” over themselves and over “all the flock” of God of which the Holy Spirit has made them overseers, with special emphasis on the challenges ahead when people within the church will prove eager to gain disciples and be prepared to distort the truth (25-31).
· The primary role of the shepherd is to nourish, protect, and guide the flock
Part 3: Paul entrusts the elders to God and the message of his grace - the gospel – which is able to build them up and give them an inheritance, along with all those God has set apart (sanctified) for himself (32).
· Through the teaching of the gospel, God is ‘building’ his church.
· By means of the gospel, God promises an eternal inheritance to those who trust in Christ and enables them to obtain that inheritance.
· In the gospel, God declares those who are in Christ to be already ‘sanctified’