Seek the things above: Are we like the Bereans?

For this week’s “Seek the things above” post, I want to pose some questions which I hope will be thought provoking.

Why do you believe what you believe? Is it because it is what you’ve always heard? What your culture commonly believes? What your parents taught you? What your preacher, priest or pastor told you? How do you know what they told you is true? Does the Bible tell us we’ll just get a feeling about it – or does the Bible teach us to study his Word to know his will?

What about the Bereans? When the apostle Paul went to Berea and started teaching in the synagogue, it says that they “were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed” (Acts 17:11-12 ESV)

Do we follow this example? Are we noble like them? Do we examine the scriptures daily to see if the things that are taught to us are so?

Are the people who teach us today infallible?
Or is it possible to be taught error?
Do we compare the things we are taught to the things God has said?
Did God make his Word available to all?
Do you have a Bible?
How often do you study it?

Leave your thoughts and comments below.

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11 Comments

  1. Posted April 25, 2012 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    Hi April!
    these are questions that i often ask me, above all i come from the union of two different world: asia and europe, buddhism and catholism… i remember that when i was a children i never understand why mom and dad not believe in the same things, but grown up i understand that the important things is to do right things as God wants us to do, and don’t focus too much on the religion itself…
    but, as i said you before, for believe in something we must read, think about it and put them into practice…
    unlucky until i started my new life in asia, i haven’t a bible with me, but with internet wouldn’t be so difficult to read it… the difficult is to study!
    i don’t know what you think about it, but i feel hard to study it alone, without fall into the banal… is more interesting to confront with other people, and hear they opinion too (personally i think that everyone is free to say its opinion, but at least are we that decide in what believe…), so that we could compare our thought… that’s one point that make me love to read your blog! i like the “seek the things above” wednesday’s meeting!

    ps. i never read all bible, and in fact this is the first time that i hear about “bereans” (or maybe i heard it before but not recognize them because of translation)… now i will go read about them…

    • Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Hi Fede : )

      I hope you will not mind my offering a comment to your post. If you can study with another person that is wonderful!! and yes, I agree far more interesting but please don’t become discouraged if you do not have anyone to study with because you can study with your Father God : ) He is always there and promises in His word to lead you into all truth (John 16:13).

      Your heart toward Jesus is evident and I know He will bless you for your faithfulness. : )

      Patti

      • Posted April 26, 2012 at 3:30 am | Permalink

        Hi Patti!
        thanks for your words, i will remember them so that i wouldn’t discourage too much!
        have a bless day too

    • Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Hey Fede! Oh, yes, it is good to study with other people! But the important thing to remember is that any person can be wrong, including ourselves, so we need to not just believe someone simply because they say so or because we think it, but to study and learn about it to find out the truth. But I definitely enjoy studying with others – and we see the example in the New Testament that the early Christians did that. For instance, the Bereans were listening to Paul, and then also did study on their own. And we also read about in Acts 18, where Apollos was teaching something he *thought* was true, and a married couple studied with him and helped him to learn “the way of God more accurately.” (Acts 18:24-28). So studying with others is good – we just need to always compare what is being taught to the Bible to see if it is true. And of course, if you’d ever want to study together, I know it is a little different online, but I’d always be happy to study together with you! Thanks for your comment, Fede! :)

      • Posted April 26, 2012 at 3:40 am | Permalink

        Hi April!
        i’m impressed that you can always choose the right words and then find the right quote on bible! you make it seems so easy!!!
        =)
        well, now i’m happy to can tell than from yesterday i started to read bible, (thanks to tecnology and free ebook) a little every day, so that i can have something to thing about it on the day… and also for knowing characters that sometimes overshadowing with other more famous characters, but that have a so strong faith that have to be remember and can be taken as an example for us!

        so thanks for the input!

        • Posted April 26, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

          Wonderful, Fede! :) Glad you were able to use technology to get a Bible! So neat :)

  2. Posted April 25, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Goodmorning April : )

    When I was a new believer I did not feel confident to read/understand the Bible on my own. I read a lot of books about what other people thought the Bible was saying but rarely read it for myself. Then one day I read Psalm 119 verses 10 and 11 which say

    “With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”

    and a light came on. I really did not want to sin against the Lord. I really did desire to stay on the right path and this scripture showed me that hiding the Word in my heart was the key. : ) Whenever possible I begin my day with fresh Bread, Jesus. No matter if it is 20 minutes or an hour God’s word prepares us for whatever we face.

    Have a blessed day, friend.

    Patti

    • Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Starting the day in the Word is a wonderful practice. I often do my own personal study in the evening, but I would like to switch it to the morning. But whenever we study, it definitely gives us good food for thought and meditation for the rest of the day, as well. Thanks Patti! :)

  3. Chi Chi
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    2 Timothy 2:15

    “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

    What you have written and the above scripture is exactly what made me question authority, and not in a bad way. I was in church but never having the feeling of being fed. Yes, I was reading my Bible, but without proper guidance it was not as effective as it should have been.

    A few years ago a good friend of mine invited me to my very first Apologetics class http://carm.org/apologetics and my understanding of the Word of God has changed completely. It is so very important to KNOW what you believe and WHY you believe it, and honestly I think the Bereans are a great example to strive for!

    Thank you for this very relevant post.

    • Posted April 25, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Hi Chi Chi! Thanks for stopping by my blog! You make a very good point about apologetics. My post was written from the point of view if someone already has looked into whether the Bible is true, and was more about talking about whether the specific teachings they have heard/accepted are actually what the Bible teaches. But, of course, before that, you need a knowledge of whether the Bible is actually true or not – and that is a fascinating and faith building study to study apologetics. I’m not familiar with that particular website. But apologetics as a topic is certainly an amazing study. I’ve actually been considering doing a series of posts on that topics, perhaps starting in May. Thanks for your comment!

  4. Posted April 26, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Great reminder to look at God’s Word with fresh, open eyes. Thank you, April.

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