ACTS 20:22-24..22 “And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, bound in my spirit [compelled by the Spirit in CSB], not knowing what I will encounter there, 23 except that in town after town the Holy Spirit testifies to me that chains and afflictions are waiting for me. 24 But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.
I believed Paul was following his understanding of the will of God to return to Jerusalem. This was despite several people on his travels warning him they had received word from the Holy Spirit that chains and afflictions awaited him there. Could these two words from the Holy Spirit be in conflict or did one have to be false. I even remember a good friend teaching many years ago that Paul was in sin as he proceeded to Jerusalem.
I do not think that Paul was sinning by going to Jerusalem. I believe the Spirit was directing Paul to go to Jerusalem and then to Rome as recorded in Acts 19:21. The warnings others were receiving from the Holy Spirit were an indication of what would happen to Paul in Jerusalem. Now we know that the imprisonment in Rome was just a stop on Paul’s ultimate journey to Rome, arriving in 62 AD, confirming the message from the Holy Spirit in [19:21].
Despite these warnings Paul remained committed to continue to Jerusalem. Like most of the 1st century disciples Paul had no fear of dying. He said in Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;”. He had already died to self and lived by faith in Jesus. Paul’s motivation was not self-preservation; his desire was to complete his kingdom assignment and to testify to the gospel of grace.
[Example from Ravi Zacharias sermon 1/28/2018 JAXFBC pastor’s Conference- every trip as he packs his bag he realizes he may not come back]
What does it mean to me to fulfill God’s will for my life? Do I honestly believe that faithfully fulfilling God’s will, as given in the Bible, brings contentment?
Henry Luke 2/9/2018
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