Paul’s Manner of Life – Part 1

What Difference Does a Godly Life Make?

Acts 20:15-19


I.     Background (Acts 20:13-16)


A.   Act 20:13  And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot.

B.   Act 20:14  And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene.

C.   Act 20:15  And we sailed thence, and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus.

D.   Act 20:16  For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.


E.    The Apostle Paul has just finished a quick tour through Macedonia and Greece

F.    And now Paul has travelled back to Ephesus, as his final stop on his way to Jerusalem

G.   Why?


1.    So that he could speak one final time with all the pastors and elders of the churches there in Ephesus, before he goes to Jerusalem

2.    Paul senses the need to remind them of what they saw in his life


a.     Not a perfect life – only Jesus lived the perfect way

b.    But a real life

c.     And a helpful life

d.    A pattern for all ministers and Christian men to follow


3.    You can learn more WATCHING someone than listening to them


a.     You NEED to listen to your teachers, and your parents, and your pastor – they do know more than you do

b.    But according to the Scriptures, you and I are learning more from their actions and attitudes than their words

c.     I am saddened that this generation is too busy watching media


1)    People are fascinated by the lifestyles of the rich and famous!

2)    They believe Peter Parker really exists!

3)    They watch carefully written speeches and orchestrated events on TV

4)    People are mesmerised by CGI realities


d.    Maybe it is because they haven’t seen anybody actually living the Christian life well


H.   So, God recorded this final heart-to-heart talk by Paul, so that all generations have a good example of what a godly man is like and what he DOES


II.   Message


A.   A Call for the Elders (Acts 20:17)


1.    Act 20:17  And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

2.    Elders… what are they?


a.     And elder is not just any Christian MAN

b.    Elders are mature Christian men, stable, dependable, settled – not loose canons

c.     He is an OLDER Christian man – not in age, but in maturity

d.    These men were the LEADERS of the churches throughout the city

e.     We call them pastors – never called priests in the New Testament – just shepherds

f.     They were married, had children, had jobs, and carried burdens, and loved people, and spent their lives feeding God’s flock!


3.    Paul NEEDED to talk with them


a.     Paul is going to have a heart-to-heart talk with the leaders of the house-churches throughout Ephesus


1)    Kind of like when we get a load of pastors and missionaries together and preach at the preachers!

2)    We pastors need preaching! We need to be challenged and encouraged and corrected, and rebuked AND WARNED


b.    So he calls for every mature Christian man to come away for just a little while, and sit and listen to him pour his heart out to them one final time. Not everyone liked Paul, but they all respected him, and needed to hear what he had to say!

c.     Because he is leaving, and THESE ELDERS will be in charge of preaching and teaching, and caring for the thousands of believers spread throughout the city of Ephesus


B.   Paul starts with REVIEWING his manner of life (20:18)


1.    Act 20:18  And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,


2.    What is “a manner of life”?


a.     Your manner of life is HOW you live, and talk, and think, and react, and plan, and work

b.    It includes your custom, your habits, your normal way of living

c.     Everyone of us have habits – mannerisms - customs


1)    People in France and Spain kiss when they greet each other – a customary thing

2)    Some people tip the waitress or waiter after a meal

3)    Some people constantly complain about everything – a bad habit

4)    Some men always walk in front of their wives, never along side them – their habit

5)    Some men never show any affection towards their wife – a custom – bad one

6)    Some men stay up long into the night watching videos or playing games while their wife goes to bed before them – that’s bad MANNERS!


d.    Paul had things he did on purpose – he developed godly habits


1)    From the moment he got saved, his HABITS changed – he made sure of that!

2)    His manner of life changed

3)    He was no longer SAUL of Tarsus, but Paul, the Servant of Jesus Christ


e.     And he did things without thinking – like when he rebuked the high priest out of anger

f.     But he worked hard to change habits? Because YOUR MANNER OF LIFE MATTERS


1)    It actually matters to GOD how you live, and how you talk… rude or respectful

2)    And it matters to the people who see you!


a)    What do people in your home see and hear from you?

b)    Grumbling, angry, forceful, whining, laziness, bitter, constantly yelling?

c)    Both the unsaved and the saved around us need to SEE godly men living godly!

d)    Men who moment by moment chose to do the RIGHT things!


3.    Paul is NOT reminiscing, but REMINDING them of how he lived among them!


a.     Act 20:18  And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,

b.    Act 20:19  Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:


c.     Describes four ways he lived among the Ephesians


1)    A Well-known life – publicly

2)    A Consistent life – faithfully

3)    A Servant’s life – humbly

4)    A Teacher’s / Preacher’s life – passionately


d.    These are very convicting, challenging – I have so much to work on!

e.     I will only be able to focus on the first three manners…


C.   Paul Lived a Public Life (20:18)


1.    He lived an open and real life – transparent like politicians say they want to be (hah)


a.     His way of living was well-known by everyone in Ephesus, and all over Asia Minor


1)    People knew not just WHAT Paul believed and taught (which is important)…

2)    But HOW he lived (which is far more important!)

3)    He was not superior or arrogant – just real and always determined to do the right thing – not matter how many times he may fail!


b.    EVERYONE knew his past


1)    Even the parts he was ashamed of

2)    Act 26:9-11  I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.  Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.  And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.


c.     The Jews knew his manner of life from his youth


1)    Act 26:4,5  My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.


2.    And since his conversion, Paul lived as an example of HOW Christian men should live


a.     Unashamed!

b.    Philippians 4:9  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

c.     1Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

d.    2Timothy 3:10,11  But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

e.     Paul didn’t mind anyone knowing how he lived, or what he did with his life, because it was being lived for others!


3.    Because, men need to SEE godly men live right – see how they live, as examples


a.     Most men have been living without ANY male pattern in their life


1)    No dad

2)    And usually no godly dad!

3)    My first male godly example in my life was my pastor, Jack Humbert!


b.    They need to watch HOW they worship God


1)    How they pray – don’t just tell me to pray, SHOW me how!

2)    How they react to pressures, and problems, and stress, and money problems, and family problems

3)    How godly men handle losing their jobs, or losing their health

4)    The next generation needs to see that it is worth it all to do the right things!


c.     So, DON’T be too private


1)    Titus 2:2  That the aged men [ELDERS] be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

2)    Titus 2:6-8  Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.


d.    And don’t just command your sons and daughters… show them how to live! How to talk RESPECTFULLY (we need this again). How to love their wife. How to do right!


4.    Ladies, YOU need examples too, and you need to BE examples too!


a.     Titus 2:3-5  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

b.    I see a huge number of young women who have no idea…


1)    How to be a lady

2)    No idea how to dress modestly…

3)    No idea how to love their husbands, or their children…

4)    How to fight in meekness and quietness

5)    How to live godly

6)    1Peter 3:1-6  Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well [FOLLOW HER EXAMPLE], and are not afraid with any amazement.


D.   Paul Lived a Consistent Life (20:18) – he was faithful – he was with people at all seasons


1.    Act 20:18  And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,


2.    Paul was the same every day – not to the point of being boring, but consistent, faithful


a.     They saw him when he was up, and when he was down

b.    When it was easy being a Christian man, and things were bright, and preaching and godliness was popular

c.     But they also saw Paul when it was dark, and hard, and rough being a godly man

d.    But they always saw him getting up and going forward, never backward, or quitting


3.    He had been with the people there at every season of life


a.     When people were so happy to hear the Gospel

b.    And also when the city was about to trample him to death

c.     When people were sick and hurting

d.    When they had no money and no food

e.     When they were kicked out of their homes because of following Jesus

f.     Guess where Paul was? He was with them! He lived right along side them!

g.    To the Ephesians, Paul became an Ephesian! He was FAMILY!


4.    Like Jesus, who was and IS so faithful… So should we be! In everything!

5.    How is YOUR consitsency?


a.     Sporadic reading of the Bible during the week? At all?

b.    Handing out a Gospel tract or church invitation? At all?

c.     Praying with your family, wife, sons, daughters? At all?

d.    Giving, tithing? At all?

e.     Sporadic Christians are like cars that cannot be depended upon to start on cold mornings!

f.     I have so many Inconsistancies, that it terrifies me sometimes!


E.    Paul Lived a Servant Life (20:19)   THIS is the biggest part of today’s message…


1.    Act 20:19  Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:


2.    Men brag about all the wrong things…


a.     About the girls they have dated

b.    About the money they make

c.     About the night life they try and live

d.    They brag about the drugs they have tried

e.     Christian men sometimes do a lot of wrong bragging too


3.    But I have found almost no man who loves and brags about SERVING!


4.    Serving is THE greatest manner / way of life – the best way to live, gentlemen!


a.     We think BEING served would be awesome…


1)    Being catered to, our every whim

2)    But that is a very short term pleasure

3)    And is the definition of SELFISHNESS

4)    And it’s why this generation is the angriest, most complaining, spoiled brats ever


b.    The willing servant of God is the happiest of all of God’s creatures!

c.     Seriously!

d.    Jesus said, being a servant of all – of everyone – is the BEST of all lifestyles


1)    Mark 9:34,35  But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

2)    Mark 10:42-45  But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.


e.     When ANYONE met Paul, or saw Paul, they saw a servant


1)    Not as an Apostle

2)    Or a big-name preacher

3)    Or a great leader

4)    Just a servant

5)    Like Jesus was… washing people’s feet, touching lepers, honouring children, feeding thousands of people who couldn’t care less about what Jesus was saying

6)    Philippians 2:3-7  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:


5.    Are YOU known as a servant? Do people think of you as a servant?

6.    Shame on US!

7.    A servant life IS the Christian life! Full Stop!

8.    Next time you are in an argument, or are upset, humble yourself and serve your enemy – bless the one who hurt your feelings and attacked your pride!


F.    Who & How did Paul Serve? (Acts 20:19) I cannot skip this part


1.    Act 20:19  Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:

2.    I don’t think people know what it means to actually SERVE Jesus… So let me try and explain…


a.     Serving means to work for someone else

b.    To give your labours for THEIR benefit

c.     To wait for any wish or request or command of someone else

d.    Is there ANYONE you do that for?

e.     You SHOULD be able to humble yourself and serve anyone, treating them like you would if they were Jesus Christ Himself!


3.    Firstly, Paul served the Lord Jesus (Act 20:19)  “Serving the Lord …”


a.     Romans 1:1  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

b.    His attitude towards the ministry was, he was serving the Lord Jesus in everything he did

c.     In every response he gave

d.    In every word he spoke

e.     He did it as if he was doing it to Jesus Christ Himself!

f.     Colossians 3:23,24  And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;  Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

g.    His love for people was the result of his love for the Lord JESUS! Not the other way!


4.    Secondly, he served people


a.     Serving the Saviour and Sinners go together – inseparable

b.    You cannot say you are a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ if you don’t serve broken, sinful, messed up, infuriating PEOPLE

c.     Christians don’t serve “good” people – we just serve people, no matter who they are, where they have been, what they have done

d.    Paul’s life was lived and sacrificed FOR OTHERS, period!

e.     He served people who did not know God, Jesus, the Bible, or morality, or church

f.     WHY? Why would anybody humble themselves and serve an enemy?

g.    So that he could win their soul!

h.    One soul is STILL worth more than this entire world


5.    HOW did Paul serve?


a.     Act 20:19  Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:


b.    “With all humility of mind” – didn’t think of himself


1)    Total humility

2)    He never thought he was above anyone

3)    He never witheld kindness from anyone

4)    He just gave away what God gave to him

5)    He lived and preached and worked hard for the benefit of others

6)    Saw unworthy people as more important than himself


7)    THIS is the way JESUS thought about US


a)    Saw US as more important than Himself

b)    Willing to sacrifice everything, to save ungrateful, sinful people like us


c.     And with tears


1)    It is hard work serving, and benefiting other people

2)    It is not often easy, or thrilling

3)    More often, putting up with constant mistreatment, and hurts, and threatenings, and hardships… whew!


III.         Conclusion


A.   So, What manner, or kind of life should we be living?


1.    What should people see when they see us?

2.    Yes they will see flaws

3.    But they SHOULD see REALITY

4.    They should see a love for Jesus Christ – never hidden, or ashamed

5.    A consistent life, lived according to the Bible, always striving for one goal – to do the right thing

6.    And most of all, they should see a servant


B.   Gentlemen, how is OUR service record?


1.    We have read in Acts 20 about Paul’s manner of life!

2.    When we die, will ANYONE write on our tombstone, “a SERVANT of Jesus Christ”?

3.    When we stand before Jesus Christ in heaven, will ANY of us hear the words, “WELL DONE THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT”?

4.    Until that day, There is a generation following us who need US to live and die right


C.   None of it comes naturally

D.   You need a new birth


1.    The Holy Spirit of God in you

2.    A forgiveness, paid for at Christ’s expense

3.    A relationship with God as a wayward son back home with his Father

4.    If you have not been saved, now is the time to pray and ask God to save you!

5.    All your best efforts won’t save you – only Jesus can – and he will if you ask!


E.   If you are saved, it really matters HOW you live now, so follow the example of PAUL


1.    Churches do NOT need Apostle Paul’s

2.    They need elder, mature, grown-up, hard-working, stable, godly men! That is what we need

3.    Men who are trustworthy, and real, and humble

4.    Men who are loyal to Jesus Christ – living up to the name CHRIST-follower

5.    And burdened about living the life of a Christ-follower – a Christian!

6.    If you are NOT that kind of man, it is time to humble yourself and repent of being a lazy, selfish, unfaithful, carnal, immature man, and decide to follow Paul’s example!