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22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

 

In verses 22-27, Paul described his present situation as he was departing from Ephesus for Jerusalem.

20:22

And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there,

Continuing Paul’s farewell message to the Ephesian elders, he told them of his immediate plans to go to Jerusalem. He did not know what would happen to him there. “Bound in the spirit” refers to the apostle’s human spirit, where he determined to do the will of God. The translators did not capitalize the word “spirit” in order to indicate that Paul referred to his human spirit.

20:23

except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.

Paul qualified his statement in the previous verse by indicating that the Holy Spirit showed him he would face opposition in every city he entered. The Holy Spirit warned the intrepid missionary that he would face persecution and even prison.

20:24

But none of these things move me;

None of the things mentioned in the previous verse daunted the apostle’s determination to do what God called him to do.

nor do I count my life dear to myself,

Paul had a different value system than most people. He did not put himself first. God’s will was above every other value.

so that I may finish my race with joy,

Toward the end of the apostle’s life, he affirmed that he had reached his goal of finishing his race “with joy” (2 Tim 4:7).

and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

The grace of God was at the heart of Paul’s ministry. He told of God’s grace everywhere he went. The preaching of God’s grace and the “kingdom of God” are paired by the following verse (Acts 20:25).

PRINCIPLE:

The goal of every Christian should be to do what he can with what he has.

APPLICATION:

Paul desired to “finish the race” with God’s blessing (2 Tim 4:7). Paul said, “None of these things moves me.” He never took his eyes off God’s will for his life. Whatever the cost, he was determined to fulfill God’s purpose for his life (Acts 21:13). This was his testimony at the end of his life (2 Tim 4:7).

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