Acts 20:27
For I have not shunned to declare to you all the counsel of God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.—The words point to a greater degree of receptivity for Divine truth than had been found elsewhere. So in the Epistle to the Ephesians, which, even on the assumption that it was an encyclical letter, was addressed to them principally, he speaks to them as able to understand his knowledge in the mystery of Christ (Ephesians 3:4), the universality of His redeeming work, the brotherhood of mankind in the common Fatherhood of God. In “I have not shunned” we have the same word and image as in the “kept back” of Acts 20:20.

20:17-27 The elders knew that Paul was no designing, self-seeking man. Those who would in any office serve the Lord acceptably, and profitably to others, must do it with humility. He was a plain preacher, one that spoke his message so as to be understood. He was a powerful preacher; he preached the gospel as a testimony to them if they received it; but as a testimony against them if they rejected it. He was a profitable preacher; one that aimed to inform their judgments, and reform their hearts and lives. He was a painful preacher, very industrious in his work. He was a faithful preacher; he did not keep back reproofs when necessary, nor keep back the preaching of the cross. He was a truly Christian, evangelical preacher; he did not preach notions or doubtful matters; nor affairs of state or the civil government; but he preached faith and repentance. A better summary of these things, without which there is no salvation, cannot be given: even repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, with their fruits and effects. Without these no sinner can escape, and with these none will come short of eternal life. Let them not think that Paul left Asia for fear of persecution; he was in full expectation of trouble, yet resolved to go on, well assured that it was by Divine direction. Thanks be to God that we know not the things which shall befall us during the year, the week, the day which has begun. It is enough for the child of God to know that his strength shall be equal to his day. He knows not, he would not know, what the day before him shall bring forth. The powerful influences of the Holy Spirit bind the true Christian to his duty. Even when he expects persecution and affliction, the love of Christ constrains him to proceed. None of these things moved Paul from his work; they did not deprive him of his comfort. It is the business of our life to provide for a joyful death. Believing that this was the last time they should see him, he appeals concerning his integrity. He had preached to them the whole counsel of God. As he had preached to them the gospel purely, so he had preached it to them entire; he faithfully did his work, whether men would bear or forbear.For - This verse contains a reason for what had been said in the previous verse. It shows why Paul regarded himself as innocent if they should be lost.

I have not shunned - I have not kept back; I have not been deterred by fear, by the desire of popularity, by the fact that the doctrines of the gospel are unpalatable to people, from declaring them fully. The proper meaning of the word translated here, "I have not shunned" ὑπεστειλάμην hupesteilamēn, is "to disguise any important truth; to withdraw it from public view; to decline publishing it from fear, or an apprehension of the consequences." Paul means that he had not disguised any truth; he had not withdrawn or kept it from open view, by any apprehension of the effect which it might have on their minds. Truth may be disguised or kept back:

(1) By avoiding the subject altogether from timidity, or from an apprehension of giving offence if it is openly proclaimed; or,

(2) By giving it too little prominency, so that it shall be lost in the multitude of other truths; or,

(3) By presenting it amidst a web of metaphysical speculations, and entangling it with other subjects; or,

(4) By making use of other terms than the Bible does, for the purpose of involving it in a mist, so that it cannot be understood.

People may resort to this course:

(1) Because the truth itself is unpalatable;

(2) Because they may apprehend the loss of reputation or support;

(3) Because they may not love the truth them selves, and choose to conceal its prominent and offensive points;

(4) Because they may be afraid of the rich, the great, and the frivolous, and apprehend that they shall excite their indignation; and,

(5) By a love of metaphysical philosophy, and a constant effort to bring everything to the test of their own reason. People often preach a philosophical explanation of a doctrine instead of the doctrine itself They deserve the credit of ingenuity, but not that of being open and bold proclaimers of the truth of God.

All the counsel - πᾶσαν τὴν βουλὴν pasan tēn boulēn. The word "counsel" (βουλὴ boulē) denotes properly "consolation, deliberation," and then "will or purpose," Luke 23:51; Acts 2:23. It means here the will or purpose of God, as revealed in regard to the salvation of people. Paul had made a full statement of that plan of the guilt of people, of the claims of the Law, of the need of a Saviour, of the provisions of mercy, and of the state of future rewards and punishments. Ministers ought to declare all that counsel, because God commands it; because it is needful for the salvation of people; and because the message is not theirs, but God's, and they have no right to change, to disguise, or to withhold it. And if it is the duty of ministers to declare that counsel, it is the duty of a people to listen to it with respect and candor, and with a desire to know the truth, and to be saved by it. Declaring the counsel of God will do no good unless it is received into honest and humble hearts, and with a disposition to know what God has revealed for salvation.

27. For I have not shunned to declare … all the counsel of God—God's way of salvation, and His kingdom of souls saved by His Son Jesus Christ. See Lu 7:30. God’s decree, to save all that believe in Christ; or the whole doctrine of Christianity, as it directs to a holy life; whatsoever God requires of any one in order to a blessed eternity. This is that which the Pharisees rejected, Luke 7:30; and so do all wicked and ungodly men, who refuse to take God’s counsel, or to obey his command. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. By which is meant, not the purposes and decrees of God, latent in his own breast, these the apostle could not declare; but his revealed will in the Gospel, concerning the salvation of men by Jesus Christ, even the whole of the Gospel, every truth and doctrine of it, necessary to salvation, and to the peace, joy, and comfort of the saints; together with all the ordinances of it, and everything that had any tendency to promote the glory of God, and the good of souls; see Luke 7:30 none of these things did the apostle withhold from the knowledge of the church at Ephesus, but freely imparted and communicated them to them; See Gill on Acts 20:20. {8} For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

(8) The doctrine of the apostles is most perfect and absolute.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 20:27. ὑπεστ., see above on Acts 20:20.—τὴν β. τοῦ Θεοῦ, see on Acts 2:23, and cf. especially Ephesians 1:11 for the phrase, and Acts 3:4 for the thought. No Epistle excels that to the Ephesians in the richness of its thoughts, and in its conception of a divine purpose running through the ages; no Epistle dwells more fully upon the conception of the Church as the Body of Christ, or exhorts more touchingly to diligence in keeping the unity of the Spirit, or insists more practically upon the sanctifying power of the One Spirit, and the sense of a divine membership in every sphere of human life. The rich and full teaching of the Epistle is addressed to men who are able to understand the Apostle’s knowledge of the mystery of Christ; in other words, to those to whom he had announced more fully than to others the counsel of God. The Ephesian Epistle may have been an encyclical letter, but it was addressed principally to the Ephesians as the representatives of the leading Church of the province of Asia. See amongst recent writers Gore, Ephesians, pp. 42, 43; and Lock, “Ephesians,” Hastings’ B.D., p. 718.—ὑμῖν: emphatically at the end, W.H[339]; this revelation had been made to the presbyters before him, and the responsibility would rest with them of communicating it to others when their spiritual father had left them.

[339] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.27. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God] The Rev. Ver. as in Acts 20:20, “For I shrank not from declaring unto you the whole, &c.” The “counsel of God” means the whole plan of salvation; what God offers and what he asks of men. This includes the “repentance and faith” as well as the “grace and mercy.”Acts 20:27. Γὰρ, for) Therefore he who kept back what he ought to have announced or showed, is not pure from the blood of his hearers.Verse 27. - Shrank not from declaring for have not shunned to declare, A.V. (see ver. 20, note); the whole for all the, A.V. Counsel of God. His revealed will and purpose concerning man's salvation (Acts 2:23; Acts 4:28; Ephesians 1:11). Shunned

The same word as in Acts 20:20 : kept back.

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