Here’s a blog about the important lessons we can learn from the Bereans. This blog also includes how we can apply these lessons in our lives.
The city of Berea is among the most popular places known in the Bible. While it is only mentioned in a few verses, Christians today are encouraged to be like the Bereans. In this blog, I would like us to focus our attention on this interesting group of people and determine the important lessons we need to obtain from their lives.
The story of the Bereans is mainly found in Acts 17:10-12. Paul, Silas, and Timothy fled from the city of Thessalonica after being persecuted by some of the unbelieving Jews. We read:
“Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all READINESS, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.”
Here are some of the significant lessons we can learn from the Bereans.
Lesson no. 1: Christians must be separated from the world
Berea is a gentile city. It is a place where the majority of people are non-believers, pagans, and gentiles. However, we see in Berea that there are a few Jews enough to establish their own synagogue. As this might be the case, the Bereans learned how to separate themselves from the pagan practices all around them.
In like manner, Christians today live in a world ruled by Satan. We live in the midst of this cruel and evil world. Christians are expected to live in the world but NOT be part of the world. We are admonished:
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15).
Lesson no. 2: Learning God’s way needs humility
In verse 11, we read that the Bereans “were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica.” In the Old King James Version, the word “fair-minded” is rendered as “noble,” which came from a Greek word meaning well-born or of good genes.
There’s no doubt that the Jews were well-born. They have descended from the line of David, from the Israelite nation – a nation chosen by God. However, Jews may have the physical attributes to be called noble, but their attitude will determine their genuine breed.
For we read that the Jews in the Berea are more noble than those who are in Thessalonica. Both received the same teachings, both were taught by the same Apostle, and both heard the same message. But what sets apart the Bereans from the unbelieving Thessalonians? The Bereans were humble enough to accept corrections and teachings.
Some Jews are so comfortable and attached to their customs and traditions that they didn’t want to let them go even after given sufficient explanations and proofs of their error. They don’t want to let go of their bias and prejudice. They don’t want to accept new understanding because they are afraid of departing from the traditions of their fathers.
However, we see that the Bereans were more fair-minded, meaning they are open-minded, teachable, and humble.
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Lesson no. 3: We need to study the Bible daily
We read in verse 11 that the Bereans “searched the Scriptures daily”. As Christians, we must also read and study the word of God. We need to search the Scriptures not just during the Sabbath, not just when it is convenient for us. But we need to search the Scriptures daily, 7 days a week – NO EXCEPTION!
We must not make any excuses. We can’t say, “We just don’t have time.” Instead, we need to say, “I must make time.” If we really have to live by the principle “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness,” it is a must that we make Bible study as our TOP priority.
Like a man who has not eaten for many days, we need to voraciously take, eat, and digest the words of God!
Like a baby who is excited to suck his mother’s milk, we need to eagerly yearn for the sincere milk of the word (I Peter 2:2).
Just like the deer who has been exhausted running away from danger and tired enduring the scourging heat of the sun, we need to long for the water by the river and refresh ourselves with God’s comforting love.
We can’t expect to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior by not studying the Bible. It is our job to open God’s word daily and study it so that we would know whether we are in the faith or not.
This is our calling. We will never be a Christian if we don’t read the Bible.
Lesson no. 4: Prove all things
What was the reason that the Bereans searched the Scriptures daily? It is to “to find out whether these things were so” (verse 11). We can see that the Bereans had the right motivation when it comes to studying the word of God. They did not do it out of rebellion, pride, or for the sake of starting an argument.
The Bereans did not believe the teachings of Paul because he was a good speaker, or he was charismatic, or because he was a friend whom they can trust. No, but we read in Acts 17:11-12 that because of their passion in searching the scripture daily and proving all things, they came to the conclusion that Paul’s teachings were true.
We read in I Thessalonians 5:21, “to test all things; hold fast what is good.”
Now, brethren, this is not just a request – an optional job for us to do. It is actually a command, a mandatory duty that each of us must assume.
Proving and testing all things are not just a job of the pastor, the leaders of the church, or of our husbands, or the men within the church. It is a duty of every single soul within God’s Church.
Lesson no. 5: Our example can influence others for good
Because of the zeal and perseverance of the Bereans in studying the Scripture, “many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men” (verse 12). We can see that through the example of the Bereans, God used them as an instrument to call many gentiles into the Church.
We can see that through the example of the Bereans, God used them as an instrument to call many gentiles into the Church.
Since the Bereans were fully convinced in their minds that the teachings of Paul were true, they gained the undying confidence in what they believe. This confidence translated into their lives and other people outside the church can’t help but notice the marked changes in their lives. As Matthew 5: 16 tells us:
“LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE BEFORE MEN, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
I hope brethren that my points are clear. We need to be like the Bereans who searched the scriptures daily, who have an open mind, and worked hard to prove all things. By doing so, we can increase our faith in God and be sure that we are doing His will in our lives.
These are just some of the best lessons we can learn from the Bereans. I hope these lessons can help us in our Christian walk.
Here is a book that you might want to read: Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
It’s crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe—the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor—loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. Whether you’ve verbalized it yet or not, we all know something’s wrong.
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