This Week's Focus Passage

This Week’s Focus Passage: Acts 20:26. ‘Wherefore I testify unto you this day, that I am pure from t

This Week’s Focus Passage: Acts 20:26.

‘Wherefore I testify unto you this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.’


    Surely, Paul has in mind that poignant and convicting passage from the prophecy of Ezekiel which has respect unto the watchman and his diligence (or lack thereof) in blowing the trumpet, and warning the people. Paul is most likely speaking in this regard, of his blowing the trumpet when he proclaimed the good news of the gospel, and it would seem, to be fair, to involve declaring the whole counsel of God; the things that bring joy as well as those things that may bring conviction of sin; even that of which the apostle speaks elsewhere when he said  that ‘we [preaching the gospel] are a sweet savor of Christ unto God, in them that are saved, and in them that perish; to the one a savor of death unto death; to the other a savor of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?’ 2 Corinthians 2:15-16. Attend to the direction that Jehovah gave to Ezekiel; in Ezekiel 33:2-6:

Son of man, speak to the children of my people, and say unto them, when I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and set him for their watchman; if, when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning, if the sword come, and take him away, his blood be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him; whereas if he had taken warning, he would have delivered his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned, and the sword come, and take any person from among them; he is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.’ 

How was Paul able to assert that he was free from the blood of all men? The only conceivable way that he would be capable of that declaration would be that he was convinced in his conscience before God that he had shrunk ‘not from declaring unto [them] anything that was profitable;’ to testify the gospel of the grace of God.’ Wonderful indeed must it have been for the Apostle to the Gentiles to have been able to say, with an absolutely clear conscience, that he was ‘pure from the blood of all men,’ having known himself to be appointed to be such ‘a watchman on the wall;’ appointed by the Lord Jesus Christ when He met Paul on the road to Damascus. Blinded by a great light and hearing a voice that called, ‘Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?’ Saul responded with two questions; ‘Who art thou, Lord?’ and, ‘What shall I do?’ ‘Arise, and go into Damascus, and there it shall be told thee of all things that are appointed for thee to do.’ was the answer given him by Jesus, and the appointed things were told him by a man named Ananias, who himself was appointed to lay his hands on Saul, and say, ‘Brother Saul, receive thy sight….The God of our fathers hath appointed thee to know His will , and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from His mouth. For thou shalt be a witness for Him unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.’ The scales fell immediately from Saul’s eyes, and he never looked back. After much faithful service to his Lord during, at least, three missionary trips, he found himself on, what would prove to be, his final journey to Jerusalem. He met the elders from Ephesus to remind them of his example, to remind them, as well, that it was not him, but the Holy Spirit, who had made them to be pastors to feed the church [the flock] of the Lord, to take heed to themselves and to ‘watch ye, remembering that by the space of three years I ceased not to admonish everyone night and day with tears.’ This is the reason he could be ‘pure from the blood of all men.’ What a magnificent watchman, the apostle Paul!

Even as God said to Ezekiel, ‘son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel,’ He said also to Saul, as it were, ‘son, I have set thee a watchman unto the Gentiles.’ When God turned Saul, the Pharisee, into Paul the apostle, He made him a ‘Great Heart’ who would be eminently faithful in blowing the trumpet and warning all and every person to whom he was sent. He, who accounted himself the least of all the apostles, and the chief of sinners, was one of the first upon the wall. When his eyes were opened as the scales fell off from them, it was given him to see the sword coming upon his own kinsmen. He not only wept over them, praying that the veil would be removed from their eyes, as it had been from his own, but he risked all for them; both life and limb. As a faithful watchman, he was pure from their blood; it would be upon their own heads. He sounded the trumpet to the Gentiles, as well, and warned them that, ‘God now commanded all men everywhere to repent inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He hath ordained.’ The sword was coming upon the land! If they would take warning; they would deliver their souls from death; if they would refuse to be warned, he was pure from their blood.

How are we doing? Will we be able to declare with Paul and with others, that we are ‘pure from the blood of all men?’ God, in His Providence, has placed us in the exact part of the world where He would be pleased to employ us, even as the people in Ezekiel’s day took a man and set him for their watchman. We have been place in the midst of the neighborhood in which we live individually. We have been placed corporately where our church building is located. We have been set as watchmen in the midst of our families, even as Paul was set in the midst of Israel, his kinsmen according to the flesh. How are we doing? To blow the trumpet involves, in the words of this apostle himself, doing all that we can to give a certain sound, ‘for if the trumpet give an uncertain voice, who shall prepare himself for war?’ 1st Corinthians 14:8. Will we warn the ‘city’ in which we live by blowing with and uncertain sound because our lives and examples are uncertain? Do we say one thing, and do another, making the sound to be uncertain? Do our neighbors, acquaintances, friends, and family understand that our wish is to spare them from the sword coming upon the land by attracting them to the only One who can save them and bring them to His city? Do they understand that we are not concerned with compassing land and sea to make proselytes for ourselves, but for the King of the Holy City? We wish to evidence that we are the light of the world attracting sinners unto Him who is the Light of the world, not just so we are pure from their blood, but that their blood be not shed at all.

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church      


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