Thursday, March 17, 2005

On Being a Berean

Well, as you can see, the topic for today is...

What? What's that you say?

You want to know if I am planning on leaving Blogger? Why, YES I AM!!! More to come on that soon. But if you've wanted to leave a comment and couldn't (sorry, Amy and whoever else that has happened to), those days of misery are almost over!

But back to the topic for today (that no one will probably be able to comment on).

Some of the best instruction that can be given to a new believer, in my opinion, is to search the Scriptures and NOT simply embrace whatever teaching comes down the pike, even from a beloved pastor or friend. When we disciple folks, we tell them, "Don't just listen to us; see if what we're saying is in the Bible." Then we show them where some of the earliest disciples did just that when Paul spoke to them.

Acts 17:10-12
As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 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. Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

Notice anything?
1. They were willing to receive the Word of God, willing to listen.
2. They were excited about the good news being preached.
3. They compared what was being taught to the Scriptures.

Over and over the Word admonishes us to guard against false teaching, and to study the Word ourselves to ensure we know the Truth and can defend it (as Christy and rev-ed were pointing out the other day).

2 Tim 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Heb 3:14
But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Heb 4:12
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

If we will but read (or hear), the Holy Spirit will perform surgery on us with that piercing sword, healing our hardened hearts. We'll be able to see and hear what pleases the Lord if we know His Word and are open to listening to His Spirit.

Eph 5:8-11
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Let us find out what pleases the Lord through His Word, and through obeying His command to test and approve what is good:

Rom 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is–-his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I submit to you that our minds are renewed daily by spending time with the Lord, denying ourselves, taking up our crosses, following Him, and meditating on His Word. Let us encourage one another to seek the Truth.

Psalm 1:1-2
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

Psalm 119:15-16
I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.

8 comments:

John said...

Kristen,

Right on. I feel like I walk this line daily with my/our generation. Thanks for the encouragement to keep seeking the Truth.

Reminds of this comment from a pastor encouraging the same Scriptural due diligence - “The Pastor who has lost faith in his Bible has nothing to say.”

Kristen said...

Well hello Mr. J! I have been enjoying your blog. :) You are an encouragement as well, as is your wife.

Rachel said...

Wait a minute, Kristen, isn't this what ministers are for? To tell us what to believe? What kind of freak ARE you?

Um, kidding. Love you. :)

Excellent post; these are some of the key verses for T's and my Christian walk -- and they've gotten us into trouble in the past. That's sad, isn't it.

Rachel said...

P.S. I'm going to be staying around Blogger for a while for two reasons:

1) I'm waiting till we can afford a paid service before I move away. At that point I'll probably do either livingdot or the $10/month version of typepad.

2) I just moved here from diaryland three weeks ago, and I don't want to seem, uh, fickle. Even though... I am.

Jim (the Berean) said...

Very well stated, Kristen! We should all act like the Bereans - that's why the theme for my blog is Acts 17:11. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

Kristen said...

Rachel, yeah, it is sad--but not that surprising. As you know, our story is similar. Re: blogging--we need to talk.

Jim--I really enjoyed your site; welcome to blogging. :) You're on my sidebar, buddy.

Shane said...

"they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."

This is one of my favorite verses. It makes a great point that many miss. What Scriptures were they searching? It would be what is mistakenly referred to as the "Old Testament". Imagine that! AFTER Calvary, proving the Gospel that Paul was preaching by using the "Old Testament"!

Some do not realize that the "Old Testament" is the Gospel as well.

Heb 4:2 For we have heard the Good News, just as they did. They heard the message, but it did them no good, because when they heard it, they did not accept it with faith. -- GNB


John 5:46 If you had really believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. -- GNB

Kristen said...

Shane--absolutely! The gospel has been the same throughout the Bible, and salvation has always been by faith. I share your wish that more people would understand the unity of the Scriptures and the fulfillment of the Great Mystery (Mega Musterion).

Heb 11:1-2
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation.

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