Acts 19-23: The Whole Will of God

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

“Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you

For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.

Acts 20:24-27, NIV

 

As we read through Acts it is important to remember that it is a history of the church as well as a set of rules for the church to live by. In a nutshell, it is a fulfillment of Jesus' Great Commission to His apostles to make disciples and to teach them to obey everything that He had commanded. Paul stresses this when he tells the elders at Ephesus that he has not hesitated to proclaim to them the whole will of God.

 

Why is that so important? For a number of obvious reasons, but one that people may not be as quick to see is the fact that the whole will of God and Christ had been revealed to the New Testament church by the time that Paul made this statement. This means that nothing in addition would be needed.

 

But, why is that so important? Again, it is important for several reasons, but the most comforting to disciples of Christ today is that we have the complete will of God available to us in the Bible. That means that all of the men and women today who claim that they have a "new" message from God that adds to the message of the New Testament are either mistaken, deceived, or worse.

 

The comfort for us is that we can know what God's full will is for us by reading the Bible. We don't need any additional source. We don't need a "new" church, or a "new" religion, and we sure don't need to be listening to some nut when they tell us that God is talking to them with new instructions.

 

In short, the Bible gives us everything that we need to serve God and Christ in the right way. Any other message or any other source is not only wrong, but dangerous. However, if we will simply stay with the inspired and complete message as contained in the Bible, we can truly know what God wants and we can therefore be certain of the things needed for salvation.

 

This is why we read!

 

The reading for the next few days is Acts 19-23. These chapters continue the apostle's duty to not only reveal the history of the New Testament church, but more importantly, to give us the whole will of God.