Monday, June 20, 2016
“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 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” (Acts 17:10,11 KJV).
Behold, the marks of spiritual nobility!
The Bereans were “noble” (distinguished) because of two attributes. Firstly, “they received the Word with all readiness of mind.” They heard Paul and Silas preaching supposedly the Word of God, and they were willing to accept it as possibly true. However, they did not blindly accept someone’s word for it. Secondly, “they searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” They actually looked into the Bible for themselves to see if Paul and Silas were really preaching God’s Word or just their opinions parading as “God’s Word.”
Exactly how much “Bible” the Bereans had, we cannot be sure. They, being synagogue-worshipping Jews, certainly had the “Old Testament,” Genesis through Malachi (cf. Acts 15:21; Acts 13:14,15). Perhaps Paul’s epistle to Galatia had been written and was in circulation in Acts chapter 17.
Millions upon millions of church members today would have spared themselves many years—even decades—of heartache and confusion had they just followed the Bereans’ example. Instead of simply sitting in church for years being indoctrinated with what they assumed was “God’s Word”—only to discover a long time later it was not God’s Word—they should have taken their Bibles to church and followed along as their minister spoke. Had they followed the Bereans’ pattern, the charlatans would have been manifested for them!
Whether an Old Testament Jew, or a Christian in our Dispensation of Grace, 1 Thessalonians 2:13 remains true: “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” God’s Word will work only in those who know and believe it—not them believing assumptions and/or presumptions about it. “Search and see; do not take it from me!” 🙂