North Anderson Baptist Church
He Bought You With His Own Blood
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
1. Servant-leadership of Paul - v. 17-21
a. Paul’s personal testimony of living among the Ephesians v. 17-19
Paul sent for the leadership of the Ephesian church to come to Miletus to join him before he left for Jerusalem. Paul reminded them how he lived among them for three years. During those three years Paul talked about how he sought to serve the Lord and the church there at Ephesus with humility. The wonderful relationship he made there and the service he gave to God brought him to tears because of the love for the church and the lostness of those who would not hear the Gospel. He reminded them that in the midst of his service to the Lord he was severely tested by the Jews. He states that he always had an opposition from the Jews no matter where he sought to share the love of God.
b. Paul had no hesitation to preach the Word. - v. 20-21
God’s Word was taught so it could help the believers in Ephesus to grow closer to God. He taught them publicly, in large gatherings where the whole church could hear as well as from house to house. That shows the desire of Paul to do intense discipleship with the people of God in Ephesus. Paul was never hesitant to preach to the Jews or to the Greeks the truth of the Gospel. (Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”) The content of his messages always included the truth of repentance, where all men needed to turn from their sin and turn to God for forgiveness. When he taught that they must repent and express publicly that they had faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives. While with them he did not want them to forget the truths that he presented to them about the Gospel of the Lord Jesus that had taken hold of him and changed his life.
2. The future is clear, ‘finish the race’ v. 22-24
Paul began to tell them about what he knew of the future of his life. What God had told him was to share with them that the Holy Spirit had compelled him to go to Jerusalem not knowing exactly what would happen there. He explained to them what the Holy Spirit had told him throughout all the cities he had gone to; that he would be facing prison and great hardships in the future. It did not scare Paul and he told them so. He made it clear to his brothers that his life was really nothing to him in regard to the danger, but that he desired only to “finish the race” which he started years ago for Christ. He told them that he wanted to “complete the task” that he had been given to him by Jesus; the task of sharing and testifying to the “Gospel of God’s grace.”

What task has God given you?
You can be sure He has a task for you.
Have you asked God to reveal it to you?
Have you listened to God’s answer to your prayer?
Maybe you haven’t asked, are you willing to do that today and follow up to do the task that God gives you?
Let’s break for a minute so you can this very moment ask God to reveal to you the task that he has planned for you.
3. Sad news - v. 25-31
Paul spoke outright to those whom he loved who had come to see him, he told them they would never see him again. Can you imagine the shock that they felt? Such sorrow must have come to their hearts!

Paul said to them also that he was innocent of the blood of all men! What did he mean by that? He declared that he was innocent of the blood of men because he had been faithful to preach and proclaim the whole will of God. Those who had heard and believed were safe in the arms of Jesus from the judgment that would come, but those who chose to refuse the truth of the Gospel would then be responsible for the sin of their own soul. Even though he had tears for them his heart was clear because he had been faithful to his call and to the work of preaching to the lost.

Paul then goes on to say to his brothers that there was need for them to be careful for their own lives and watch out over the flock of the Lord Jesus when he left. Paul told them that the Holy Spirit had made them overseers and shepherds of the Church of God. Paul reminds them that it was of the Ephesian church that they would be overseers and shepherds; that church was “bought with His own blood,” the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Remember church, the fellowship of the Lord Jesus Christ here at NABC, that you too were bought with His own blood! There are overseers and shepherds of this flock as well that need to be careful and continuously watch out over this congregation on behalf of the Savior, whose blood was shed for His church.
Everyone here and listening to my voice/watching on their devices, you also have been bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to reveal the love of God and show His character to all mankind. He did this by living a perfect life and then dying for everyone and shedding His blood upon the cross to forgive all people everywhere their sin. He was buried because He was dead! But on the third day He arose from the grave to live again and tooffer each of us eternal life, now and forever more.

Jesus personally bought you with His own blood!

The question is will you receive that gift He is offering you?
Will you who have accepted that gift, testify to others here today that you were in fact a sinner in need of forgiveness and you, by faith, accepted Christ’s free gift of eternal life and now know you possess eternal life? (Romans 6:23, “...the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”)

Now Paul declares that there will be reasons for this watching out and being careful, it is that there will be savage wolves come among them after he leaves. These wolves will not do good but as wolves, they will harm and destroy the flock of God. Shockingly there will be those among them Paul says, that will rise and distort the truth of God’s Word in order to pull away people from the flock to follow them. Be on guard Paul says, he has tried to warn them over the years that he was there with them. You see Paul really loved the congregation of Ephesus, so much that he shed tears over them often. Be careful Church!
4. Committed to God and His Word - v. 32
The love Paul has for his dear friends is seen in so many ways. Here he says that he has committed them to the Lord and to the “Word of His Grace.” What is that? It is the Word of God! God’s Word dispenses grace to you and to me when we read and know it, it is freely given to us that we might be built up in our Christian life and where we will become sanctified in the Lord that we might know and experience His inheritance for us.

In Paul’s writing in Ephesians 4:12-13 we read, 12 “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Paul is consistent in his writings and here he emphasizes what he has already told them, that they may be built up into this “unity in the faith, also intothe knowledge of the Son of God, as well asbecome mature attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” The great apostle doesn’t want them to forget his teaching and thereby not strive to the fullness of maturity that has such great rewards.
5. Paul declares, “I worked my way” - v. 33-35
Paul was a unique evangelist/missionary. He worked his way around to preach the Gospel. Paul was a tentmaker. He provided for himself and even for those who helped him in his ministry. Of course, as we have talked about before there was help from the Philippian church and from others, but on the whole he met his own needs through hard work. Paul didn’t need what others had, he was content in what was given to him. He speaks of this contentment in Philippians 4:10-14,
Paul reminds them that his hard work should be an example to them and that their work should be used to help those who do not have the opportunities that they had, he says it this way, “we must help the weak.” He encourages them by quoting a statement from Jesus Himself by saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Friends you can look diligently throughout the New Testament writings and never find this statement in “red.” Jesus is not quoted anywhere in scriptures that he said this. So is this quote true to Jesus? Hear this statement from John in John 20:30-31,
If Jesus did many other things that haven’t been written in these Gospels, then it seems logical that He said many other things that were not recorded. Maybe Jesus spoke directly to Paul with this “blessed” thought. Or, like Warren Wiersbe has said in his commentary, since Paul was talking about selfishness, he points out that “true ministry means giving, not getting; it means following the example of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Wiersbe quotes Dr. Earl V. Pierce as saying that he used to say this was “the supreme beatitude” because, unlike the other beatitudes, it tells us how to be more blessed! These words of Jesus are not found anywhere in the Gospels, but they were a part of the oral tradition, and Paul memorized them. Wiersbe goes on to say, “It is better to share with others than to keep what you have and collect more.” In others words , the blessing does not come in accumulating wealth, but in sharing it. After all, Jesus became poor that we might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”)
6. Bitter-sweet goodbyes - v. 36-38
When all was said and done, Paul knelt down with all those he loved and prayed with them and for them. They and Paul wept together and showed their love for Paul hugging and kissing him.

*Because of their great intimate fellowship with Paul they felt their hearts break because they knew they would never see him again.

You would think their friendship was special since he spent three years with them. I wonder if any friendships can become intimate and special over almost thirty years? Of course! It is hard to think about leaving and not being your pastor and not being a part of the family here at NABC. Both Lynda and I have been grieving over this already and it is hard for us but I know too, because of our time and experiences together, that you may feel the same way. Even though we are not going to be here as pastor and pastor’s wife who have loved you and served with you in so many ways we will be here in town and not neglect our friendships. You are important to us but when a new pastor comes he will need to establish with you those same kinds of friendships so he could care and ministry to you.

Next week we will say farewell to each of you in the capacity of your pastor and pastor's wife and it will be a better-sweet farewell.

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for.  If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior.  Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life.  And that means you too! All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him.  But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice.  Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your faith, belief, in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you.  He will call for a change in your life too.  He wants you to follow Him not the world, not your own desires but to follow Jesus.  That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.  There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life.  Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. 
When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world, let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus!
You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you.  Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621.
Dear friend, if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above.  If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you.  It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you.
This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.
Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com