The Whole Counsel of God

I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29)


Paul emphasizes “the whole counsel of God” as a way to affirm the completion of his duties toward the Ephesians and to remind them of the truth. Paul warns, “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!” (Acts 20:29–31).


The whole counsel of God includes some things that are difficult to hear—the fact that we are dead in sin and deserving of God’s wrath (Ephesians 2:1–3) and the fact that we cannot save ourselves through works (Ephesians 2:8–9). The gospel is a call to repentance and faith. Believers will face persecution (John 16:33) and likely be considered foolish. But none of these things can dissuade us. We should follow Paul’s example and also preach the whole counsel of God. All Scripture is inspired, and all of it is profitable (2 Timothy 3:16). We must preach it in its entirety and allow the Holy Spirit to use His sword as He sees fit (Ephesians 6:17). Paul did not share half-truths or only parts of the gospel; rather, he shared all of what God has revealed. We must do the same.

Commentary from Got Questions.org

Today, as in Paul’s day, half truths and misrepresentations of the gospel abound. In an effort to be “seeker friendly” there is no shortage of preachers willing to dismiss and distort God’s truths which do not conform to societal norms. We would all do well to heed Paul’s admonition to be on our guard!

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