The Whole Counsel Of God

November 16, 2014

 

We are living in a day when I dare say many a Preacher and many a Believer have no clue what the whole counsel of God is. The Apostle Paul was clear that in his ministry it was something that he preached.

 

“For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.” Acts 20:27 NKJV

 

“For I never shrank or kept back or fell short from declaring to you the whole purpose and plan and counsel of God.” Acts 20:27 Amplified Bible

 

Before Paul stated the above he also said to those he was ministering to in Ephesus after spending three years with them and knowing that his physical assignment with them was concluded:

 

“And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.” Acts 20: 25 & 26 NKJV

 

Why was Paul innocent of the blood of all men? Because he preached the whole counsel of God to them. He declared that he did not shrink back from declaring or not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God. What does it mean to preach the whole counsel of God? That is a valid question. Simply it means to preach all the truth of the Word of God and all the Doctrines of the Bible.

 

Why is it so important that we preach the whole counsel of God? Paul gives us some dangers that could arise from not preaching the whole counsel of God.

 

“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. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.” Acts 20:28-31 NKJV

 

The first danger that Paul points out is that savage wolves will come in not sparing the flock. The warning is for the Overseers (Leaders, Preachers, or Teachers) to shepherd the church of God. How do they do that? Looking at this passage contextually it would be by teaching and preaching the whole counsel of God. It seems that Paul was convinced that if the people had the whole counsel of God declared to them they would be spiritually strong and not susceptible to savage wolves.

 

The second danger Paul identifies is men rising up from within the church who will speak perverse things and draw disciples away and after themselves. This sounds very much like what Jesus warned:

 

“For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and they will show great signs and wonders so as to deceive and lead astray, if possible, even the elect (God’s chosen ones).” Matthew 24:24 Amplified Bible

 

Notice Jesus said if possible even the elect, God’s chosen ones would be deceived and led astray. Why? Because they do not know the Word of God. They have not been taught the whole counsel of God.

 

Paul stressed to these Ephesian believers to remember that for three years he poured into them day and night. He wanted to make sure their foundation was solid and would not be led astray.

 

This sounds very much like what he later wrote back to this same church in Ephesus regarding the purpose of what we commonly call the five-fold ministry (the same ones he admonished in Acts to shepherd the flock of God):

 

“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.” Ephesians 4:14 NASB

 

If leaders do their job by teaching and preaching the whole counsel of God the people will not be tossed around by every wind of doctrine nor by deceitful scheming; conversely if the whole counsel of God is not declared they will be.

 

In the day and age in which we are living this could not be more critical than it has been in all of my existence in the church. There has never been a greater need for the whole counsel of God to be declared unashamed than there is today because we find ourselves living in a day that Paul also declared would come:

 

“But realize this, that in the last days difficult (perilous KJV) times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 NASB

 

This certainly is a picture of our day…and right in this context…Paul goes into Chapter 4 admonishing his son, the Apostle in training, Timothy with these words:

 

“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled (having itching ears KJV), they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:1-5 NASB

 

What is the cure for these days of the perilous or difficult times? What is the cure for these days when they will not endure sound doctrine? What is the cure for those who want to have their ears tickled or having itching ears? It is the same cure in all cases…PREACH THE WORD!

 

Paul did not say preach part of the word. He did not say preach your favorite doctrine. He did not say to ride your hobby horse. He said to Preach The Word!

 

We have many today that do not preach the word; they preach parts of the word. They preach one or two pet doctrines. Many ride a hobby horse and nothing else. Notice that Paul said that we would REPROVE, REBUKE, & EXHORT in season and out. When we do we will keep folks being deceived. What Paul was saying in this admonition to Timothy is exactly the same thing as what he said he did in Acts 20 while he spent three years in Ephesus:

 

“For I never shrank or kept back or fell short from declaring to you the whole purpose and plan and counsel of God.” Acts 20:27 Amplified Bible

 

In this day of hobby horse riders, God give us Preachers that will Preach The Word! God give us Preachers that will Declare the Whole Purpose, Plan and Counsel of God! The spiritual wellbeing of the flock of God hangs in the balance.

 

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