The Whole Counsel of God

Brethren, week after week we attend Sabbath services, not only because it is God’s test Commandment, but because we wish to learn everything we are possibly able to gather about the truth of God.  We are counting down the days until the return of Jesus Christ – and we know right well that time is short and growing shorter.  Time is of the essence!

We have been called to the knowledge of God and His ways.  Is there ever a time when we can rest assured that we have heard enough, learned enough and do not need to study anymore?  The Bible is the living word of God.  There are not enough years in a lifetime to discover every principle and truth the Word of God has to offer.

The apostle Paul called the elders of the Ephesian Church together for a final meeting before his departure.  In that closing ministerial conference, Paul poured out his heart to them – and explained that his own life was inconsequential as he completed his course.

“None of these [bonds and afflictions] concern me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”  (Acts 20:24)

Paul explained that he had not been reticent in giving them everything essential for salvation.   “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”   (Acts 20:20-21)

Before his calling and conversion, Paul was ferociously cruel toward all the saints – persecuting the Christians unto death, binding and delivering them into prisons – both men and women (Acts 22:4).  How then could Paul say, near the end of his life, that he was innocent of the blood of all men?  The answer to this question goes well beyond the forgiveness of sin that Paul received at his baptism.

Paul declared to the elders, “I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.  For I have not shunned declaring unto you the whole counsel of God.”  (Acts 20:26-27)

What constitutes the entire counsel of God?  That is an important question – and one that we certainly need to know the answer to.  Brethren, the question is this – how do we tap into the whole Counsel of God – how do we access this vital fund of wisdom, understanding and knowledge?

When Paul stated that he was guiltless of the blood of all men – it meant that he was not to blame if some did not heed God's counsel – because he had plainly given it to them.  Paul had Ezekiel’s warning message in mind when he spoke these words.  In effect, Ezekiel had spoken the same words – I am pure from the blood of all men.

When the watchman warns the people, “Then whosoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and takes not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.  He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that takes warning shall deliver his soul… Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”  (Ezekiel 33:4-5, 9)

Paul, as a modern watchman to the Church, could declare that he was innocent of the blood of all men, because he had not failed to communicate the whole counsel of God to them.


Sermon:  "The Whole Counsel of God"
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