I am pure from the blood of all - If any man, Jew or Gentile, perish in his sins, his blood shall be upon him; he, alone, shall be accessary to his own perdition. I am blameless, because I have fully shown to both the way to escape from every evil.
Wherefore - In view of the past, of my ministry and labors among you, I appeal to your own selves to testify that I have been faithful.
I take you to record - Greek: I call you to witness. If any of you are lost; if you prove unfaithful to God, I appeal to yourselves that the fault is not mine. It is well when a minister can make this appeal, and call his hearers to bear testimony to his own faithfulness. Ministers who preach the gospel with fidelity may thus appeal to their hearers; and in the day of judgment may call on themselves to witness that the fault of the ruin of the soul is not to be charged to them.
That I am pure - I am not to be charged with the guilt of your condemnation, as owing to my unfaithfulness. This does not mean that he set up a claim to absolute perfection; but that, in the matter under consideration, he had a conscience void of offence.
The blood of all men - The word “blood” is often used in the sense of “death, of bloodshed”; and hence, of the “guilt or crime of putting one to death,” Matthew 23:35; Matthew 27:25; Acts 5:28; Acts 18:6. It here means that if they should die the second death; if they should be lost forever, he would not be to blame. He had discharged his duty in faithfully warning and teaching them; and now, if they were lost, the fault would be their own, not his.
All men - All classes of people - Jews and Gentiles. He had warned and instructed all alike. Ministers may have many fears that their hearers will be lost. Their aim, however, should be:
(1)To save them, if possible; and,
(2)If they are lost, that it should be by no neglect or fault of theirs.
Paul carried with him the atmosphere of heaven. All who associated with him felt the influence of his union with Christ. The fact that his own life exemplified the truth he proclaimed, gave convincing power to his preaching. Here lies the power of the truth. The unstudied, unconscious influence of a holy life is the most convincing sermon that can be given in favor of Christianity. Argument, even when unanswerable, may provoke only opposition; but a godly example has a power that it is impossible wholly to resist. GW 59.1
The apostle's heart burned with love for sinners, and he put all his energies into the work of soul-winning. There never lived a more self-denying, persevering worker. The blessings he received he prized as so many advantages to be used in blessing others. He lost no opportunity of speaking of the Saviour or of helping those in trouble. Wherever he could find a hearing, he sought to counteract wrong and to turn the feet of men and women into the path of righteousness. GW 59.2
Paul never forgot the responsibility resting on him as a minister of Christ; or that if souls were lost through unfaithfulness on his part, God would hold him accountable. “I take you to record this day,” he declared, “that I am pure from the blood of all men.” [Acts 20:26.] “Whereof I am made a minister,” he said of the gospel, “according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: whereunto I also labor, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily.” [Colossians 1:25-29] GW 59.3Read in context »
In this degenerate age many will be found who are so blinded to the sinfulness of sin that they choose a licentious life because it suits the natural and perverse inclination of the heart. Instead of facing the mirror, the law of God, and bringing their hearts and characters up to God's standard, they allow Satan's agents to erect his standard in their hearts. Corrupt men think it easier to misinterpret the Scriptures to sustain them in their iniquity than to yield up their corruption and sin and be pure in heart and life. 5T 141.1
There are more men of this stamp than many have imagined, and they will multiply as we draw near the end of time. Unless they are rooted and grounded in the truth of the Bible, and have a living connection with God, many will be infatuated and deceived. Dangers unseen beset our path. Our only safety is in constant watchfulness and prayer. The nearer we live to Jesus, the more will we partake of His pure and holy character; and the more offensive sin appears to us, the more exalted and desirable will appear the purity and brightness of Christ. 5T 141.2
In order to cover his corrupt life and make his sins appear harmless, this man will bring up instances recorded in the Bible where good men have fallen under temptation. Paul met with just such men in his day, and the church has been cursed with them in all ages. At Miletus Paul called the elders of the church together and warned them in regard to what they would meet: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn everyone night and day with tears.” 5T 141.3Read in context »
19. Value of the Books Sacrificed—When the books had been consumed, they proceeded to reckon up the value of the sacrifice. It was estimated at fifty thousand pieces of silver, equal to about ten thousand dollars (Sketches from the Life of Paul, 137). 6BC 1064.1Read in context »
In many places self-supporting missionaries can work successfully. It was as a self-supporting missionary that the apostle Paul labored in spreading the knowledge of Christ throughout the world. While daily teaching the gospel in the great cities of Asia and Europe, he wrought at the trade of a craftsman to sustain himself and his companions. His parting words to the elders of Ephesus, showing his manner of labor, have precious lessons for every gospel worker: MH 154.1
“Ye know,” he said, “after what manner I have been with you at all seasons: ... and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house.... I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:18-35. MH 154.2Read in context »