10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
It feels really good to be back behind the computer. I haven’t had a lot of time lately, or rather I haven’t made a lot of time these past few months because of other commitments and what have you, but now…now I have more time and therefore I will write. This topic is one that has been on my mind for a long time. I haven’t really known how to get it down on paper though and therefore it has sat stagnantly in my brain collecting dust. Now is the time to dust this idea off and put it out there. I hope that it will be something for all of you to relate to as you go through this passage with me.
Okay, let’s get started. The most important piece for me in this little snippet of Acts, was the part that I italicized. In it we read about the Berean Jews, and how they were noble, and received Paul’s gospel message with zeal and yet they did something very important. The Berean Jews examined the scriptures so often that they tested Paul’s message to see whether or not it was true. Upon discovering that the message being told was not conflicting to God’s Holy Scripture, they believed him and came to faith in Jesus Christ. Yay Berean Jews!
So what does that mean for us? Well let’s think about it for a minute. In my own life, I know that there are some obvious things that I do not partake in because they contradict God’s word, like yoga, and probably Halloween. But what about the other things? The things that come around in ways that we least expect. This is a dangerous age to live in because there are a lot of different avenues to be led astray such as: Reading books by “Christian” authors or participating in bible studies that are mediated by the authors thoughts about scripture and how they feel about it vs what scripture actually says about said bible study topic, listening to certain podcasts, or sermons, listening to certain preachers and teachers of God’s word. There are things being said in the name of Christ on television, when there are obvious flaws in the doctrine, or we may even attend churches where the very person who is teaching us, may not necessarily be teaching us the truth, or perhaps that person is encouraging us to participate in practices that are unbiblical or perhaps even demonic. These are the sneaky things that I am worried about, the things we as followers of Christ need to be concerned about. These are the sorts of things that the Bereans were checking for, and what were they using as the tool of measurement? That’s right…the scriptures.
2 Timothy 4:3-4
3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Is it really important to know our bibles in depth? Or is that just for pastors and leaders in the church? We need to know what God’s word says because if we don’t, we will be the people who were led astray. I don’t want to be led astray, I want to be like the Jews of Berea, I want to be able to test the spirits like the book of John advises, so that I will be able to discern whether they are from God, and what they are telling me is truth. I want to know that if I get a chance to share my faith in the future, that I will do it from a place of truth, and not just experiential truth. Experience and testimony are powerful and can do wonderful things in God’s kingdom, but truthfully unless it is gauged by God’s word and NOTHING maligns the word of God in the testimony or experience, then can it only be credited to the Lord, and to our faith.
So where do we begin if we don’t have a lot of discernment when it comes to what we allow into our hearts and minds? My suggestion, open the bible, and have a look inside. It is never too late to begin building a strong spiritual foundation built on the word of God. The difficult thing that I had to learn, was to not just focus on the books are Psalms, Proverbs and the Gospels. Albeit they are all very good books, and those are particularly good for training and teaching good character building things, but the rest of the bible shouldn’t be omitted because it is hard to understand, or difficult to get into. One important thing to understand is that the bible is broken up into several different writing styles; and unless we fully grasp the context to which the books is written as it can sometimes lead to confusion or perhaps even misunderstanding if we don’t know the context, or perhaps the historical setting.
A final lesson for myself that I know has helped me along, was to get in the habit of making friends with people who were more spiritually mature than me and who were clearly growing in their faith. These people encouraged me, and helped me when I needed clarification, and also helped me discern my actions through prayer and accountability.
God’s word is meant to strengthen us and guide us. It will transform us from the inside out, it will peel away layers that we didn’t even know we had, and it will cut away things that we didn’t know needed to be removed. It is wonderful and that is why I love sharing what I have learned with all of you. Remember God’s word never changes, so be on your guard my friends, and sharpen your swords by getting into His word and do not let those ears be tickled!
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Need your sword sharpened? Check out these links I have compiled to help you along. Enjoy and God Bless!
Scripture passages that help and encourage:
Helpful Links To Find Bibles, and Other Resources For Growth:
Youtube Videos, and Other Online Videos and Bible Studies:
Dr. David Platt’s “How to Study the Bible” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nyl1wc9EpCY
Dr. David Platt’s “Old Testament Survey” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLUR0GizUVo
Dr. David Platt’s “New Testament Survey” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osZVf_u7WJY
Inductive Bible Studies: http://precept.org/ *****