Paul’s Farewell Address to the Ephesians

Open Your Bible

Acts 20:1-38, 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, Philippians 1:20-21

During my senior year of high school, each student was given a writing assignment: what is the good life? It was a tradition at my school for each graduating senior to reflect on what they believed made a good life, almost like a farewell address to this chapter of their life. Then, we had to stand before a faculty board and support our thesis. We were being held accountable for the ideals of the good life we believed in.

I centered my thesis around Acts 20:24 where Paul writes, “My purpose is to finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.” Everything else that made up the good life, like finding the right vocation, establishing healthy friendships, creating a Christ-centered family, and maintaining a walk with Jesus were all motivated by finishing the course Jesus gave me. My good life was to be a testament to the grace of God.

Paul’s farewell address to the Ephesians reminds me of his own personal paper on what he believed was the good life. Before he leaves the Ephesians, he reminds them of all he has done on behalf of Jesus. He has taught the hope of Jesus fearlessly, and has held the church accountable to the truth of Jesus’s word. He encourages them to continue to build a life around the same biblical values that he demonstrated for them—never shrinking back from living a bold life for Jesus. 

Looking back, I see why our teachers asked us to write the paper. It wasn’t so that we could walk into the adult world with a perfect path towards our own version of the good life. It was to give us an opportunity to decide for ourselves what truths we would stand by when things got hard, and our morals were tested. 

In the same way, Paul knew when he left the Ephesian church, “savage wolves” would hide amongst them and try to twist God’s truth (Acts 20:29). It was necessary for them to be alert, remembering Paul’s example so that they would not turn away from everything he had taught them about Jesus. 

If you were to give your final address, what would you point to in your life that demonstrated what was most valuable to you? Would it sound a lot like Paul’s address—a life dedicated to the message of Jesus? My prayer for us is this: “As citizens of heaven, live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27). If you build a legacy for Jesus, I have no doubt your life will be a “good” one.

(25) Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

25 thoughts on "Paul’s Farewell Address to the Ephesians"

  1. Traci Gendron says:

    DOROTHY – like you I would share my story with my son. He was diagnosed when I was 28 and I turn 60 on Friday. I never thought I’d have him this long. God has blessed my relationship with my son immensely. We are very close. It has taught me that there is a purpose in our pain. That we suffer just as Christ suffered. It has taught me to be selfless. To look too God for comfort, strength and Perseverance. I think in the act of caring for him that others will see where my strength comes from. It is only from God and I will profess that loudly!

  2. Lisa Williams says:

    What an inspiration Paul is to us believers today. His priorities were clear. He wanted all of his efforts to point others to Christ and also to teach them how to continue the journey after receiving Him. That’s so powerful! May it be the farewell address of us all.

  3. Sky Hilton says:

    This chapter of Acts is bittersweet. On one part it is so sad to see Paul leave.. but on the other hand.. It is so wonderful to see that Paul ministered.. and with the help of God.. brought christianity to Ephesus. We are so happy that God has sent so many disciples.. it has been a beautiful journey to so far to see the church grow. Im so happy to see that God is still sending so many people now to minister around the world.. so one day, so many of us can all fall on our knees and all of us could praise God.

    I hope all of us would let Christ be magnified in our bodies.. it is NOT about us.. but it is ALWAYS about God.

  4. Jennifer Anapol says:

    Ruth Long, I am so happy the Lord met you where you are. ❤️

  5. Dorothy says:

    I think my sharing my faith story through the death of my son and my niece and how my faith was made stronger after each would be what I would share. I have shared the story of my faith and my son’s death to some already, especially some teens, I remind them that we have some control but God has the final control of our destiny.
    Sisters, I’m praying for those requesting prayer, be blessed and share your faith story.

  6. Victoria E says:

    Ruth Long so thankful you had a moment of breakthrough yesterday. Praise God! I pray we all live worthy of the gospel of Christ, I know I fail a lot but thank God for His grace. Martha Hix I am also praying for you. ERB- I haven’t seen you here in a little bit I hope all is well. Brooke P praying for you as well and others.

  7. Mari V says:

    @Bessie praying right now! I in PST time so she must be there right now. I know what it’s like to sit in court.

  8. Mari V says:

    I want to live a life of Christ. I may not be Paul but that is the desire I have. I know I mess up but I hope I never mess up too far to where i’m not setting a good example. There are many times when I feel misinterpreted. So many times I just stay silent and let Jesus be my defender.