If you knew this was the last time you would ever see your small group again, what would you want to tell them before you left?
General Study Questions
How does this passage fit into the book as a whole?
How does it flow from the previous section of the text?
What in the passage stands out to you?
How does this passage minister to its original audience?
How does this text minister to us today?
Is there a sin to confess?
Is there a cause for thanksgiving or praise to God?
Is there a promise or truth to trust in?
Is there an attitude to change?
Is there a command to obey or an example to imitate?
Is there anything confusing or hard to understand about the passage?
How is the Gospel present in this passage?
What is the single, main point of the passage?
How would you apply this passage to your life?
Text Specific Questions
As Paul says goodbye to the Ephesian elders, he is confident about his character. He said that he served the Lord with great humility (v. 19). How would you describe your character? What part of your character would you like to see develop and grow? If you were to say goodbye to a group of people, how do you think they would describe your character once you left?
Paul says in verses 20-21 he did not avoid proclaiming the Gospel to anyone. Do you avoid proclaiming the Gospel? If so, what steps can you take to increase your boldness?
What did the Holy Spirit tell Paul would await him in Jerusalem? Why do you think he was able to courageously go forth rather than shrink in terror? What are you willing to endure for the spread of the gospel? What are you not willing to endure?
Read verse 24 aloud and let it sink in. Could you honestly say the same thing about your own life? Now read the following verses and see if they give you a fuller understanding of Paul’s stance: 2 Corinthians 4:7-12; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Philippians 1:20-21; Philippians 3:8; Colossians 1:24.
Read verse 28. What is the role of the elder/overseer? (See 1 Timothy 3:1–7; Titus 1:6–9,1 Peter 5:1-4 for help.) How can we help our elders at Bethel with these challenging tasks?
In verses 29-31 Paul warns that false teachers will rise up inside the church. How have we seen that throughout history? How do we see that today? What steps can we take to be on guard against false teaching and false teachers within the church?
In verse 35 Paul reminds the elders at Ephesus that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” Have you found that to be true in your own life? Why or why not?