As I read through Acts 17 I am finding it hard to focus on just one thing to discuss. There is so much in this chapter that I love. This is hands down one of my favorite chapters in this book.
Let me focus on Paul’s visit to Berea (vs. 10-15). The main point of this section is found in verse 11; “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
Paul preaches the same message everywhere he goes. He tells everyone that Jesus is Messiah, that he had to suffer and rise from the dead and reasoned with them from the Scriptures. The Bereans display an attitude towards truth that I think we all could benefit from adopting ourselves. Verse 11 says that they received the message with Eagerness and then Examined Paul’s message with the Word of God.
I ask myself how ‘eager’ I am to come to Anchor each week and worship with you all? Is that a word that describes me? Am I EAGER to hear God’s truth proclaimed or am I just coming out of a religious duty? One will keep me faithfully and joyfully coming back to corporate worship each week. The other may do the same but not with a light and joyful heart but rather with a heart that is tired and burdened with the yoke of religious duty. With this kind of heart I will soon find excuses to not bother joining the body in corporate worship… even if it is just for this one week (Not a good thing B.T.W.)
The other Characteristic the Bereans had was an ability/willingness to examine the Scriptures and test Paul to see if what he was telling them was the Truth. This is so important to do. While I am convinced Tim (and any guest speaker he invites to fill in for him) is faithful to prepare a message that is true to God’s Word, those who speak are still fallen people who have the potential to get it wrong. That is why we should never let our eagerness to hear the Word hinder us from examining the Word to make sure what is being taught is Truth.
Examining the Word for ourselves does a couple of things:
1. 1. It increases our knowledge of God’s Word.
2. 2. This increases our joy and love for God Himself.
3. 3. This in turn increases our Eagerness to know Him more.
4. 4. This causes us to want to Examine the Word even more.
Do you see the pattern here? 1 leads to 2, 2 leads to 3, 3 leads to 4 and 4 takes us back to 1. This circle inevitably produces in us the noble character the Bereans had. But by all means –
Don’t Take My Word For It.