Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bereans

"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 ..."

That's where we usually stop, and our brains turn off. And there's good stuff to ponder, digest and teach there.

But it's important to consider, chew on and proclaim the rest of the verse, too:

"to see if what Paul said was true."

Bereans were noble not just because they studied, but because they studied to see if what Paul taught was true. They were noble because they sought truth. They were noble because they accepted scripture as the final word on truth. They were nobler than Thessalonians because they hadn't already decided what truth was and that Paul was lying because his truth disagreed with theirs; they were open to new truth and more truth and God's truth.

Because you can study all you want to, and if it's only to prove what you already believe - rather than to discover what God wants you to hear, know and put your faith in - you're studying for ignoble reasons.

And you might just as well start a riot and run the truth out of town on a rail.

Check out Acts 17:11 - the whole verse; the whole context.

See if what I said isn't true.

1 comment:

laymond said...

There are many in the Christian belief " especially evangelicals"
who like to refer to the "Bereans" as a model for reading scriptures to prove what the truth is. And then they turn around and say "now let me tell you what that means"

That does not represent what the Bereans thought. They believed the bible was a stand alone document that needed no explanation other than itself. They are used as an example by Paul because they diligently read and believed what the bible said, as did Paul, they didn't have their version of it.