The Spirit of Duty Is
Acts 20:22-24
And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

I. A BINDING SPIRIT. "I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem." Urged by the force of his convictions of obligation to Christ, not merely to renew old associations. The binding does not imply reluctance. To be bound by the spirit of duty is to be self-bound, is to be free. The necessities of souls, the claims of Christ, demand my presence in Jerusalem; just as Peter and John said, "We cannot but speak," etc., and himself, "Necessity is laid upon me." The Divine spirit of duty will listen to no excuses based upon inconveniences, or apparent inexpediences. It makes me feel I must be faithful, honest, spiritual; I must teach and do good.

II. A HEROIC SPIRIT. He was not afraid of —

1. Threatened persecutions. He looked at them with a fearless heart: "None of these things move me."

2. Death itself: "Neither count I my life dear." Life is a precious thing, yet duty is far more precious to a Christ-inspired soul. Like Christ, the truly good have ever been ready to sacrifice life for duty. This conduces in every way to our well-being. But the sacrifice of duty for the preservation of life conduces to our degradation and ruin.

III. AN ABIDING SPIRIT. "So that I might finish," etc. These words give us a view —

1. Of the life of man. Paul regarded life —

(1) As a course. The allusion is to the Grecian race (2 Timothy 4:7: 1 Corinthians 9:24). It is in truth a race, measured, so long and no longer — withal very short.

(2) As a course which would have an end — "finished."(3) As a course that should be finished with "joy" — not with terror, amazement and anguish, but "joy." It is Heaven's wish that we should all meet with a happy end.

2. Of the life of a minister. The life of a minister is that of —

(1) A most responsible trustee. The gospel is committed to his charge.

(2) A solemn witness "to testify the gospel."

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

WEB: Now, behold, I go bound by the Spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there;

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