“Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”
Oh, there is so much just encapsulated in these two short verses. Let me point out just a couple of things that’ll lead us into praying. I mean, this is Paul speaking to the elders, the pastors of the church at Ephesus, and he’s saying that he is innocent of the blood of all. Why? Because he has declared the whole counsel of God to them. So the implication is clear: he would be guilty, in a sense, if he had not been faithful to proclaim the whole counsel of God to them. So think about that; certainly for pastors, we are, I am as a pastor responsible before God for declaring to the people he’s entrusted, me to pastor the whole counsel of God.
May God give us grace to not stay silent. Let’s be faithful to humbly proclaim the whole counsel of God’s Word.
If I am silent with the word of God, in any part of it, then I am not being faithful before God, and I will be found guilty of not serving the people God has entrusted to me well. I don’t think this picture just applies to pastors. That’s obviously the group that Paul is speaking to here, but I think we see in other places in scripture as well, how we have a responsibility, all of us who have the word of God, not to keep that to ourselves but to share that with others. And the picture we see back in Ezekiel and watchman on the wall, if a Watchman knows danger is coming and says nothing, then the watchman is guilty, in a sense, for what happens when an attack comes on a city. He could have warned people that this was coming, and if he does warn people, he is innocent in that sense.
This is where I just want to encourage all of us, yes, pastors, and then beyond. We have the word of God that says judgment is coming upon sinners. An eternal hell is coming for all who don’t trust in Jesus, and we are all responsible for sharing that news, for telling other people that. Let’s encourage one another. We’re going to pray that, God, I would always be faithful, not guilty in this sense, but like watchmen on the walls and warn people. So the other part that we just can’t pass over here is it’s the whole counsel of God, and if we’re not careful as pastors and as followers of Jesus, we’ll pick and choose which parts of God’s word we’re comfortable with and which parts were not. We don’t have that option. Pastors don’t have that option in the church, and followers of Jesus, we don’t have that option in our lives and in what we share with others. We can’t shrink back from parts of the Bible that we think are less politically correct or are more offensive to people. We’ve got to compassionately, humbly, boldly proclaim the whole counsel of God.
So God, so much here we pray. We pray that you would help us all, whether we are pastors in your church or simply followers of Jesus, members of your church. God, we pray that you’d help us be faithful with the whole counsel that you have entrusted to us in your word. Lord, help us to faithfully share it, proclaim it in the church and in the world to warn people of coming judgment, to teach people all that you have commanded us. This is what you’ve told us to do when we make disciples, teach them to obey everything. So help us to be faithful to do this as pastors and members in your church. God, may we not be found guilty with Your word before us and silent mouths and people around us who we’ve not spoken to about what Your word says. God, may it not be so. Help us to be innocent of the blood of all, in this sense, because we did not shrink back from declaring in the church and in the world, the whole counsel that you’ve given to us in your word. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
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