DEVOTIONAL PAGE - "Brethren, I have written a letter unto
you" (Hebrews 13:22).
June 11, 2018
Be Bravely Berean
Our title states precisely what Acts
17:10-12 urges us to be and do. Through
Luke God has set before us the excellent
role model of the Berean Jews.
When the apostle Paul visited the
synagogue in Berea preaching a new,
strange, yet wholly Scriptural doctrine
about a Jewish carpenter being their
Messiah and His having died and risen
according to the prophets to save them
and the world, it was a head-scratching
moment. Were these things true, real,
worthy of their trust and commitment?
orthodox Jews of the Book they surely
consulted their local rabbi. He was,
after all, the resident expert in
matters of the Law (Torah) and his
opinions reflected those of the renowned
experts in Jerusalem. But their official
inquiry wasn't enough. This matter was
urgent, one of eternal life or death.
They had to know for themselves -
personally, firsthand, straight from
God's authoritative Word.
So they obtained permission to access
the Torah scrolls from the ruler of
their synagogue and launched a
prayerful, in-depth study "whether those
things" which Paul alleged "were so."
They soon discovered they were. Paul's
teaching, though novel, fully agreed
with Scripture! By their prayerful
research, they now owned these new
truths. Paul's beliefs were theirs.
more importantly, they joyfully embraced
Jesus as their Messiah, knowing this
meant major life changes. Their new
faith put them at odds with those Jews
continuing in the old teaching. Many
disbelieving Jews strongly rejected
Paul's gospel, chased him out of
Macedonia (17:13), and (surely) turned
their animosity on the believing
Bereans. So they had to not only believe
but be brave. Ready to change. Ready to
commit. Ready to pay a price for the
precious new truths that drew them
closer to God - but farther from those
who rejected those truths. The point?
of blind trust in religious experts
however academically trained or
ministerially experienced. Trust
completely only the Scriptures correctly
interpreted. Berean moments occur rarely
They arise when the biblical
interpretations of the religious experts
contradict what our plain reading of
Scripture - with correct understanding
of its language, context, and culture -
plainly tells us. Too often we wonder,
scratch our heads, and then opt to trust
their interpretations even though the
Scriptures seem to tell us something
altogether different. Instead of
assumingly accepting these unacceptable
interpretations, we should wisely
research the matter. Am I advocating
irreverent disrespect for our teachers?
Not at all!
Many Christians don't grow spiritually
because of just this. Rather I'm
advocating reverent hunger to know God's
Word for ourselves, to find, grasp, and
stand fast on the only true and
authoritative basis of faith. Let no
minister take offense.
If even the great apostle Paul's
teachings were subject to rigorous
examination, so will ours be. If even he
took no offense, neither should we.
Let's abandon all ministerial pride and
actually rejoice that our
listeners, readers, and congregants want
to know God's truth for themselves. Got
a doctrinal question?
Seek and submit to your pastor's
counsel. If not satisfied, inquire from
other Bible teachers. If still not
satisfied with their explanations, be
bravely Berean! Search the Scriptures,
prayerfully seeking the Holy Spirit's
illumination. Humbly and hungrily find
out for yourself. And that's not all.
ready to change - your beliefs, ways,
worship, service. Even if it means
facing rejection from those unwilling to
Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC