The Noble Berean
Greek words Beroia
Definition: perhaps a provincial form a derivative of Perea that is the region beyond the coastline; Berea a place in Macedonia:-Berea,
KJV Usage: Berea occurs two times.
The believers in Berea, their eagerness, inquisitive mind, are what we should emulate.
In speaking of Thessalonica, we have spoken of the Church gathered out of the world. The nobleness of the Bereans was shown not in their way of acting upon a gospel already believed, but in their way of trying the credentials of a gospel first heard. They did not refuse the gospel because it contradicted their previous opinions; neither did they, in an excess of credulity, receive it because it was presented to them. They listened to it with the readiness of a candid spirit, and they daily examined their Scriptures to see whether its language and theirs were the same. “Many therefore of them believed.”
If our teaching were carried back by you to your Bible; if, when we urge upon you any particular duty or any side of the truth, you would readily examine your Scriptures to see whether what you have heard has God’s sanction to it or not, how interesting would become the work of hearing and the work of teaching! You would feel that you were engaged in a pursuit of truth; that it was not a question of pleasure or interest, but a question of right and wrong, of life and death; you would come hither not to criticize, but to learn, and you would go hence not to discuss, but to digest. And we on our part should feel that we were aiding you in settling the most momentous questions, and that out of such inquiries would spring forth a full-flowing stream of satisfaction, strength, and peace. The word denotes the examination of a witness or the trial of a challenging life. Let us thus put the Word of God upon its trial. Let us not treat it as a dead, unmeaning, monotonous thing, to be carried in the hand, read at church, or suffered on the table; but rather as a living person, to be questioned, to be listened to and judged. So treated, the Bible will become to us a voice, not a page only. So treated, we shall, at last, be able to say, “Thy Word is tried to the uttermost, and Thy servant loveth it.” (Dean Vaughan.)
A spirit of earnest inquiry after religious truth. The gospel offered them no secular advantages (Acts 14:22; 2 Tim 3:2). In the total absence, therefore, of all worldly attractions, what could induce them to receive the Word with all readiness of mind but a deeply serious concern about religious truth? The origin of this state of mind may probably be referred to that spiritual influence which went forth a little before this period — “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
A remarkable superiority to the power of prejudice. They did not refuse to listen to these strangers, although they were either unknown or had been preceded by unfavorablerumors (Acts 17:6, 7).
An exercise of cautious investigation before they proceeded to make up their minds. The Bereans received the Word in a widely different manner to those in Matt 13:5,20,21, and, there is a reason to believe, abode in it with far greater stability.
As the result of the whole, note — their professed faith in the gospel, and their union with the Church. The Church thus founded appears to have been numerous: at Thessalonica, some believed, at Berea many. And where the good precedent of the Bereans has been followed, a solid work of God has been perpetuated; but where people have rushed into religious profession under the influence of novelty or angry sectarianism, the consequence has too often been the erection of an airy castle, soon scattered to all the winds of heaven. It farther appears, that many of the Berean believers were highly respected in their station and circumstances; literally, persons of figure and the addition of such to the Church is a very desirable occurrence; for, to say nothing of subordinate and extrinsic advantages, their piety, found in connection with knowledge and refinement, is likely to be instrumental of great good in giving a tone to the whole community.
Like Bereans how do we evaluate sermons and teachings? The people in Berea opened the Scriptures for themselves and searched for truths in verify or disprove the message they heard. Always compare what you hear 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 world.
Associate Pastor ZTSBC