Sermon-Based Study Guide
For the message on September 25, 2022
Passage: Acts 20:17-28
In Part 2 of our Influencers series, Cole highlights three principles from Paul’s farewell address to the elders at Ephesus that will help us be more influential for Jesus.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
In the message, Cole took us through the final words of encouragement from Paul to the church at Ephesus before heading to Jerusalem and Rome. If today was the last day with the members of your small group, what words of encouragement would you deliver to help them keep living for Jesus?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. Before traveling to Jerusalem, Paul wanted to get in some final words of encouragement to the church at Ephesus. In verses 18-19, he began his remarks by describing the manner in which he ministered among them. Using these two verses, what one-word descriptions would you use to describe Paul?
Why are each of these attributes important for us to emulate in our lives today as we seek to influence others for Jesus?
2. Paul’s focus in Ephesus was the same as all the churches he started and visited – proclaiming all of the truths of the gospel. Notice this phrase that he used twice: “I did not shrink from declaring.” Paul didn’t hold anything back that was profitable for them. He gave them “the whole counsel of God.”
What do you think would have tempted Paul to NOT tell these Gentiles the entire truth about God and their erroneous pursuit of man-made gods?
Are there any people in your life that you need to be more bold with regarding the truth of Scripture? How can you be bold with someone who needs to hear the truth without coming across as rude or abrasive?
3. In verses 28-31, Paul warned the Ephesian elders to watch out for false teachers who would come into the church and lead believers away from following what is true. Paul warned them: “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock (and to) be alert.”
What are some steps you can take to protect yourself from following the lies, mistruths, and cultural thought that is clearly contrary to the Word of God?
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, what valuable tool does Paul describe for Timothy that would help protect himself and the church from false teaching?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT2)
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
4. Paul concluded his remarks, commended the elders to God and prayed for them before boarding the ship for Jerusalem. In describing this moment, Luke tries to capture the emotion of the moment by describing their embrace and sorrow because they wouldn’t see Paul’s face again. This meant that the leadership mantle now fell completely on their shoulders. The baton had been passed.
As we think about the church today, the baton of the good news about Jesus has been passed to us. The question is, what will we do with it? Will we carry it faithfully and pass on to the others to run the race?
Based on this sermon and study, what are some steps you can take to become a greater influence for Jesus in your family, workplace, campus, neighborhood and community?
TAKE IT HOME
1. What is your biggest takeaway from this sermon and study?
2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?