Noble Bereans (pt.1) (#153)

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1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Timothy 2:15, Acts 17:11

Episode Handout

1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Timothy 2:15, Acts 17:11

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) 15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Be a Berean: “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Acts 17:11

Paul went into the synagogue and there discovered a group of people keenly interested in the study of the Old Testament Scriptures. In fact, they met daily to search the Scriptures to determine whether or not what Paul was saying was true. Paul had been overjoyed at the way the people in Thessalonica had received the Word (1 Thes. 2:13), so these “noble Bereans” must have really encouraged his heart. All of us should imitate these Bereans by faithfully studying God’s Word daily, discussing it, and testing the messages that we hear.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NASB)

13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

ACTS 17:11

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to check up on Paul and Silas, to see if they were really teaching the truth. (NLT) Berea was about forty-five miles south of Thessalonica. The people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica. The Greek word for “open-minded” is eugenesteroi, meaning “noble” or “generous— free from prejudice.” Instead of hurling attacks, they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. Instead of forming a mob to run the missionaries out of town, they searched the Scriptures day after day to confirm whether or not Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.

I want to know one thing: the way to heaven . God himself has condescended to teach the way. For this very end he came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God!

—John Wesley

What an ideal audience! They exhibited the characteristics that every teacher of the Word would love to find in a listener:

t “Open-minded”—they were teachable.

t “Eager listeners”—they were open to hear the truth.

  1. “Scripture searchers”—they did not take everything and everyone at its word. They did their homework. t “Truth seekers”—they were looking for truth—absolute truth.

Being a “Berean” Believer

How do you evaluate sermons, books, and teachings? The people in Berea opened the Scriptures for themselves and searched for truths to verify or disprove the teaching they heard (17:11). Always compare what you hear or read with what the Bible says. A preacher or teacher who gives God’s true message will never contradict or explain away anything that is found in God’s Word. But serious Bible study will be needed to verify what we read and hear.