Acts 20:11-12 Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed. And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted.
There are five important elements of Christian Growth that we find in Acts 20. Those are Accountability, Encouragement, Companionship, Hope, and Comfort. Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at the first four and this morning, we finish our study with the fifth and final element.
Paul’s sermon had gone a little long … past midnight. A young man named Eutychus was sitting in the window, listening to Paul teach but fell asleep and fell out the window, three stories down to the street below, where he died. Paul went down to him and fell on him, embracing his body. He then said, “Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.” To our surprise, Paul, having made this declaration, went back up to the room, ate, and then continued on preaching until daybreak … and we find out that Eutychus is again alive and the church was greatly comforted by this. The 5th element of Christian growth is comfort.
The kind of comfort that this congregation received was a mix of peace, tranquility, and conviction that is hard to describe and comes from the revelation of God’s care. The church of that day, endured persecution. They had trials but they had entrusted and turned over their lives to the Lord and so they had great comfort. True comfort comes from the knowledge of and obedient service to the Lord. We remind one another of that comfort when we are together and we are able to share in that comfort.
The author of Hebrews wrote that we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25). Our gathering together isn’t something that’s optional to a Christian, it’s a matter of life and death. You may be overcome by sleep during the sermon, but if you forsake our assembling, you might be overcome by more than sleep. You might be overcome by Satan.
There are a lot of comatose Christians today, who neglected assembling together, and in that, did not receive comfort when they needed, and so became calloused to the true doctrines of scripture. And being out of the battle, it has advanced past them, leaving them on the wrong side of the battle line. There are important things that happen when we assemble together. Over the past five weeks, we’ve talked about all five of them. Let’s tie all this together.
Acts 20:13-16 Then we went ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, there intending to take Paul on board; for so he had given orders, intending himself to go on foot. And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene. We sailed from there, and the next day came opposite Chios. The following day we arrived at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium. The next day we came to Miletus. For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.
We need each other, even as we find words of togetherness and teamwork used here in these verses … “He met us” … “We took him” … “We sailed” … “We arrived” … “We came.” Paul was dependent on other believers and other believers were dependent on Paul. But if we leave it only at that, then we leave out the ties that bring all this together, and that is this … It’s never about me. It’s always about you. If I’m taking care of you, who’s taking care of me? It’s about considering others above ourselves, it’s about a body which functions best with all members attached. It’s about everyone being held accountable in friendship, encouraging one another by our companionship, reminding each other of our confident hope and comforting one another. To me it’s not what I need, it’s what you need. To you it’s not what you need, it’s what I need. It’s a well toned body that moves with purpose and glorifies God in it’s work.
Leave a Reply