Question: How much are you worth to God?
Acts 20:28 NKJV Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Are we watching over ourselves?
Therefore take heed to yourselves….
Paul is telling the Ephesian elders to watch over the flock, but first he says to take heed to yourselves, in other words, keep a watch out, be on guard for yourself. Surely the verse applies to elders, but doesn’t it also apply to all Christians in general? Are we watching out for false teaching that may enter our own ears? Are we guarding our personal prayer time, our Bible study time, our church attendance, our service to God? If we get lost in doctrine or practice, then what shall be the consequences to those around us? What good is a light under a bushel? What good is salt that has lost its saltiness? What will happen to those we influence?
Are we watching over all the flock?
The verse first applies to elders. This is another reason why I like the house church model. We only have 4 families in our house church, and I find it amazing all the things that have happened to the individusls of the group over the years. I am so blessed how our church elders, Brad and his wife Jamie, are aware of the struggles of the flock. They are always there to support us. I honestly don’t know how an elder of a larger church can watch over all the flock. Four families has been a work in itself, how can you take heed to a 100, 200, 400, 800, or even 1600 people in a congregation?
The verse can also apply to parents and to spouses. Are we watching over the souls of our children and our spouse? Are we watching out for the doctrines they are hearing? Are we aware of their struggles, and how their struggles are affecting their relationship with God? Are we praying for them? Are we giving them the whole counsel of God from His word, in other words, are we feeding them as a shepherd?
Who’s church is it?
Why are elders, husbands, fathers, and mothers supposed to be faithful in their overseeing those under them?
First, the Holy Spirit has given us this responsibility.
We tend to serve our employers to oversee the company’s interests according to the responsibility that they have given us, then we should be more diligent to faithfully watch over those who the Holy Spirit has made us overseers.
Second, the church belongs to God.
…church of God which He purchased with His own blood…
If someone asks you to watch their house and feed their animals while they are away, will you not do your best? When you leave each day, will you not double check that the animals are properly fed and watered, that the water in the house is turned off, and that the doors are all closed and locked? How much more diligent should we be to watch over those in God’s house?
What was the purchase price?
Did you see that this verse indirectly calls Jesus God? It says, …the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Did you see that? God purchased it with his own blood. Obviously Jesus is the One who shed His blood, and here He is called God.
We were not bought with money, with corruptible things, with animals, with a sinful man’s life, but we were bought with the God-Man’s blood.
Just as we go to a place, like a store, to buy an item, Jesus purchased us from a place, and that place was called sin and death. When Adam disobeyed God, all of mankind was placed in sin and death, but Jesus has redeemed us. The word Redeem means to buy back. We were in sin and death. We were separated from God according to his judgement, Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
17 “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”. After Adam and Eve sinned, they hid themselves from God showing their spiritually dead condition. And God, who could have taken away their physical life forever according to his word instead has mercy on them. He gives them curses, and then He covers them with animal skins. Genesis 3:21 Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.. The life of that animal, and the animal sacrifices instituted throughout the Old Testament were symbols of the true price that would be paid in the future, that is, the death of God the Son, The Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.
Jesus redeemed us, in other words, He bought us back from sin and death with His own blood.
Jesus ransomed us from our being bound to sin and death.
Jesus atoned for our sins, in other words, He exchanged His life for ours, and He reconciled our sin debt to be paid in full.
He was our propitiation, in other words, His death appeased God’s wrath.
He carried our sins to the cross, and he was made sin. At his death, sin was put to death by His sacrifice. He was judged for us once and for all. Our sins were nailed to His cross.
Now that we are purchased back by the Son, the Father has sealed us with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our eternal inheritance. All of this is accomplished to uplift and magnify God’s abundant and amazing grace.
Ephesians 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Hebrews 9:1 Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary.
2 For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary;
3 and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All,
4 which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant;
5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
6 Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services.
7 But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance;
8 the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.
9 It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience—
10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.
11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.
12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,
14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.
18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood.
19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.”
21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry.
22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—
26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.