30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. 32 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. 33 I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
Acts 20:30–35 ESV Read More
I think it is so interesting to see how Paul warns them about false teaching and evildoers in their midst. Or rather, the antidote to those false teachers.
Be built up in the words of grace from Jesus and be giving and generous to the poor and weak.
Paul preached almost daily for 3 years in Ephesus. He had continued, in some way, to make and repair tents.
It is also known that he “didn’t covet silver, gold, or apparel.” He had a reputation as someone that could endure a lot of suffering. (He was beaten and on the run a lot. That’s how he met a lot of the people that became Christians!) He invites the Ephesian church and other hearers to imitate his lifestyle.
In various parts of church history, orthodoxy was settled as the church fended for its life or gave up its luxury to care for the poor. In championing the most important teachings and actions of Jesus, the Church finds Herself.
It should also be noted that on this very trip that Paul is taking, his crew is carrying money to Jerusalem to care for the poor. Caring for the poor isn’t just part of his word-message to the church as he leaves, caring for the poor is a lifestyle. He is showing them by doing as he teaches them by telling.
This is how the church survives. Not by defending herself and chopping of ears with swords, but by wrapping up in towels and washing the feet of the weak. This is how Jesus did it. This is how Paul commends his favorite group of people (the Ephesians) to do it.
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