Acts 20:13-38 NIV

Paul's Farewell to the Ephesian Elders

13 We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had made this arrangement because he was going there on foot.

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      14 When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene.
      15 The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Kios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus.1

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      16 Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus2 to avoid spending time in the province of Asia,3 for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem,4 if possible, by the day of Pentecost.5

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      17 From Miletus,6 Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders7 of the church.

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          18 When they arrived, he said to them: "You know how I lived the whole time I was with you,8 from the first day I came into the province of Asia.9

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          19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears,10 although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews.11

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              20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything12 that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.

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              21 I have declared to both Jews13 and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance14 and have faith in our Lord Jesus.15

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              22 "And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem,16 not knowing what will happen to me there.

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                  23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me17 that prison and hardships are facing me.18

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                  24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me,19 if only I may finish the race20 and complete the task21 the Lord Jesus has given me22--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.23

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                  25 "Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom24 will ever see me again.25

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                      26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men.26

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                      27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.27

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                          28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock28 of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.a29 Be shepherds of the church of God,b30 which he bought31 with his own blood.32

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                            • a 20:28 - Traditionally "bishops"
                            • b 20:28 - Many manuscripts "of the Lord"
                              29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves33 will come in among you and will not spare the flock.34

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                              30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples35 after them.

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                              31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years36 I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.37

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                              32 "Now I commit you to God38 and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance39 among all those who are sanctified.40

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                              33 I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold or clothing.41

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                              34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions.42

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                              35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "
                              36 When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed.43

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                              37 They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him.44

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                              38 What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again.45 Then they accompanied him to the ship.46

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