THOSE NOBLE BEREANS
Acts - "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
Today there are many different aids to Bible study. There are all sorts of study Bibles available as well as books and courses that will help one study the Bible. In spite of all the help at our fingertips, many Christians are ignorant of the content and teachings of God's Word!
I want to introduce you to a special group of people who will always be remembered because they were serious about studying God's Word. They are known as the Bereans. According to Acts 17:11, the Bereans were "more noble" than another group of people known as the Thessalonian Jews. The difference was their attitude towards the Scriptures. The Bereans were true students of the Word of God. They loved God's Word.
In this message we want
to think about Acts and how
to love God's Word. But first, we need to get an overview of the travels of
Paul and Silas before they arrived in
Vs. 10, 12 - Paul and
Silas arrived in
Vss. 13-14 - Trouble followed, and again Paul needed to leave town.
In verse 11 we learn many good things about approaching God's Word from those "noble Bereans".
They loved God's Word, and we want to use the word "love" as acrostic to help examine the
Bereans' love for the Word of God.
L - LISTENING AND LEARNING
"... they received the word with all readiness of mind..."
Of course, we must realize that the reason the Bereans could listen and learn was because Paul and Silas were doing their jobs. They were teaching the Word of God. Make sure that the men you listen to practice 2 Timothy , 2 Timothy 4:2 and 1 Timothy -16.
There appears to be a lack of listening going on today. The people in the pews are sitting there, but very often they are not paying attention to what they are being taught. Many people are present in body, but absent in spirit. They are not with it. I would venture to say that the majority of people can not tell you what the preacher said after he said it.
To be a better listener in church, I suggest:
1. Ask God to help you pay attention.
2. Make sure there is nothing wrong between you and the preacher. Get any problems settled, or you won't listen well.
3. If necessary, in your mind repeat the words that the preacher is saying. This will help you concentrate.
4. Take notes.
5. Try to apply what is being said to your own life. Ask, "How does this relate to me."
The Bereans not only listened, but they learned. As you listen attentively you will learn. And if you really love God's Word, you will also read and study God's Word for yourself. This will also help you learn.
O - OPENNESS AND OBEDIENCE
One of the great problems which we have when we witness to unsaved people is that we are dealing with narrow-minded people. One of the problems that preachers have is that often they are dealing with narrow-minded Christians! The Bereans were open to the teachings of the Word of God. The majority of Thessalonians were not.
As Christians we need to be open to the being taught the word of God by the preacher. We must be ready to allow our wrong ideas to be replaced by what the Bible actually says. When your pastor presents a new idea from God's Word be open to seeing if this new idea is correct. If it is correct, replace your old wrong ideas with new Biblical ones.
In verse 12 we are told that many believed. That means that they obeyed the Word of God and were saved. As Christians we must also obey the Word of God and follow the Biblical teaching of those preaching God's Word. We also need to obey God's Word as we study it for ourselves. 1 Samuel 15:22-23
V - VERIFICATION
"...and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
Sometimes preachers preach pure heresy and nobody realizes it.
Do not take what your pastor says blindly, but check your Bible and make sure that what he is teaching is true! If you make sure that the preacher you already trust is teaching you the truth, it will be easier for you to spot a heretic. You will already be used to "searching the Scriptures daily".
If you find a problem with what your pastor is preaching, go to him personally. Maybe you have not understood what he was saying, or maybe the pastor simply made a mistake. AND PREACHER, WHEN YOU'RE WRONG, ADMIT IT!
E - EXAMINE - ENDURE - EXPERIENCE
Examine thoroughly the Word of God.
Endure in studying the Word of God. It is to be a daily process.
Experience much from the Word of God. The Bereans experienced salvation.
As Christians sincerely study God's Word they will experience:
And much more!
REACTIONS TO THE RESURRECTION
(Discuss Acts 17:22-31)
There were three distinct reactions to the resurrection.
SOME DETRACTED - Vs. 32 - They mocked.
SOME DELAYED - Vs. 32 - They would hear Paul again.
SOME DECIDED - Vss. 33-34 - They chose to believe.
(The original idea of this message came from the late Jack Wyrtzen. However, the alliteration is mine.)