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Berean Christian! Berean Christian! Berean Christian!
Before I say anything…
WHO ARE THE BEREAN CHRISTIANS AND WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THEM?
The Bible tells us of a remarkable group of people famously known today as the Berean Christians. These believers lived in a place called Berea (thus the name), and they possessed a remarkable character that each and every Christian today must have.
I think the first mention of them was in Acts 17:10-15. At this time, Paul and Silas were making their way along different territories preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all men. Upon arriving at Berea, we read that they first looked for the Jews there.
“Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.” (Acts 17:10)
From here we see that the Bereans weren’t believers in Christ when Paul and Silas met them. They were Jews who had one remarkable trait:
“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.” (Acts 17:11)
From here it’s clear to us that the Bereans, though they haven’t met Christ yet, have already established the all-important habit and discipline of reading and studying the Scriptures daily. They were a people whose standard for authority and truth was the very word of God, though they hadn’t met the word made flesh yet.
Unlike other Jews, the Bereans were quick to receive the message that Paul and Silas brought them, but they weren’t naïve – they didn’t take Paul’s word for it, but “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”
They were a people who held Scripture in such a high regard that it became their daily pursuit, their source of truth, the only reference book or material they would read in search of what is true.
Because they were familiar with the word of God, they saw the truth of Paul’s message about the Lord Jesus Christ, and they believed:
“Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.” (Acts 17:12)
Later we read that Paul and Silas’ persecutors also followed them in an attempt to disrupt their work of preaching the word of God. The Bereans, now Christians, responded quickly to protect Paul by sending him away, to be followed by Silas and Timothy quickly.
So what can we learn from the Berean Christians? Here are a few important things:
1) We need to make the word of God our sole basis for truth and error.
So many Christians today run to sources other than the Bible. There’s no better, more accurate and infallible source of Godly instruction other than the Bible itself.
2) We need to diligently search the Scriptures daily
This isn’t about having daily devotions; this is about having our daily rations. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (see John 4:34). Let’s follow His example.
3) We will be ready to receive God’s truth when we soak ourselves in His word
The Bereans were ready for the truth of the Gospel of Christ because they kept searching God’s word for truth. When Paul and Silas came preaching the Gospel to them, many of them were quick to see the reality of Jesus Christ and believed in Him.
Such readiness for God’s new things can only come to those who soak themselves in God’s word. Let’s all devour the word of God like an infant craves for milk (see 1 Peter 2:2)
The Bereans were not trouble makers or church dividers. The people who claim to be like the “Berean Christians” today are dividing the church. Nobody even knew of the Bereans until Apostle Paul went to them. And even though they read and understood the scriptures for themselves, there was no record that they faulted anyone’s preaching. There certainly was love from them to other regions where there were Christians.
So if Bishop Oyedepo preaches tithing and you decided to be “Berean”, you did a research and found something else, good for you. Practice what you found and give others the benefit of practicing what they believe too. At the end, it shall speak. Don’t come to social media to confuse people’s destiny.
It’s fine if you even preach your own view, but try not to judge people in the process. Judging ministers of the gospel is not Berean at all.
Guess what? I’m also Berean, I don’t just take the words of preachers for it, I verify, and if there’s no balance in my spirit, I discard it – never to be mentioned again.
The other day a preacher was teaching his congregation that the only way they could stir up the anointing upon his life to give prophetic words in their favour was to sow a seed into his life. Ofcourse, preaching in that manner was uncalled for. If a popular preacher said such, social media will not rest. I just discarded the teaching. And if at all I needed to counter it, I’d just teach what I believe is right and let God do the rest. I don’t have the right to judge anyone.
So I agree, let’s be like the Berean Christian, the only challenge is that some Christians only open their Bible during Sunday services. And the positive results you see in their lives are based on the “unverified teachings” they hear from their pastors. Telling these kind of Christians to be like the Bereans may lead them faster to hell than heaven. For some people, it would just be a perfect excuse to stop seeking God.
Not every Christian can be Berean, and it’s not only Berean Christians that will make heaven, those who are poor in spirit will also make heaven. The bible says “blessed are the poor in spirit for their’s is the kingdom of God”.
Some Christians are comfortable with their pastors leading them, and that’s okay as long as the pastor is leading with the word.
So please, let’s drop this issue of being like the Berean Christian, I perceive it would bring more harm than good. I have a colleague who has stopped going to church for years now, he claims men of God are creating false doctrines and teachings and that we should all be Berean Christians.
As we speak, he’s not been feeling well. His advocacy for Berean Christianity has eaten deep into him and it has turned to bitterness. And a broken spirit dries the bone.
I love every Christian, as long as they’re making efforts to seek God, whether only on Sundays or a daily word study.
The portrait for the Christian marriage demands that the man loves his wife as Christ loves the church, but we all know that this isn’t true in every Christian home, yet, they’re still together. No two marriage is the same. This is the same for our individual Christian lives; even though we have similarities, we can’t be 100 percent identical.
Do they believe in Jesus the Christ? Do they believe in the Holy Spirit? Do they believe in the virgin birth? Do they believe in the resurrection? Do they believe in life after death? Do they believe in repentance?
For me, if you claim to be a Christian, then you must believe these things. Whether you tithe or not is now your problem. Whether you give offering or give to the poor isn’t my fight.
So yes, a pastor preaches tithing, that’s okay as long as he still preaches the major subjects. I hope this is clear now.
Sorry jare, I just had to do a study on this Berean matter. They’re almost making the rest of us feel like we’re not Christians. 😂
Photo credit: Apostle Joshua Selman