Posted by: mikenicholsblog | February 6, 2011

be a Berean

It’s happened to all of us. You listened to the words of a friend, business partner or even a family member, much to your chagrin. You should have known better or checked things out more thoroughly, but you didn’t. Along the journey, wide-eyed belief becomes healthy skepticism. We want to give others the benefit of the doubt, but after being hurt or disappointed enough times, just give us the facts. That reminds me of the Bereans. I have always been impressed with them. You may be asking, who are the Bereans?

Berea is a city in southwest Macedonia that the apostle Paul visited on his second missionary journey. It was one of many cities that Paul visited. The key to my fondness of the Bereans comes from one verse in the Book of Acts.

Acts 17:11
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.

Obviously, the fact that they were noble was impressive, but what really stands out to me is how they viewed the message presented by Paul. They accepted it with eagerness, but didn’t just rely on his word. It is interesting to think of them fact checking the apostle. I would equate it to any one of us checking to see if a message by Billy Graham was true. Although it is humbling to think of fact checking someone so godly, we would be wise in doing it. The Bereans were definitely wise to make sure what they heard Paul proclaim matched with Scripture.

Most people have some spiritual heritage. Your church background determined some of your early perceptions about faith, salvation, and baptism as well as a myriad of other Biblical topics. So much of what you grew to believe came from those presenting Biblical truth to you. We tend to just believe what our spiritual authorities present. My point is not to cast doubt on what we have been taught, but to present a case that all believers should appropriately examine what we are hearing and ensure it lines up with Scripture. Why do you believe what you believe? It is certainly not a negative that the Bereans fact checked the apostle. And it is not a negative to examine the Scriptures to make sure that what you hear from pulpits, or read in articles is true.

If you and I are to have a Biblical Worldview, a strong understanding of Bible doctrine, and a deep sense of how God works in our lives, it is paramount that we be students of God’s Word. Any spiritual leader I know is thrilled when someone examines the Scriptures to validate what they have presented. All of us will one day stand accountable for our lives. God has chosen to give us absolute truth through His Word. We must always seek it, and it is imperative that we always view teaching through the lens of His Word.

Paul was giving the Bereans truth. But they still examined the Scriptures daily to make sure what he said was God’s truth. Wide-eyed belief was easy when we were all younger. But our accepting nature so often transitions into healthy skepticism as more years pass. Our natural tendency is to fact check any information given to us. From a spiritual perspective, how can we lose by examining the Scriptures to validate the words we are taught? And truth be told, the teachers you can trust will have great joy in having their message validated. Don’t be afraid to live like a Berean!


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