Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Study the Bible … the Right Way

The Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day. – Acts 17:11

Imagine for a moment a church that teaches that God is the Easter Bunny, Jesus was a Viking pirate and Jerusalem was built by extraterrestrials. How would you know whether or not these teachings were true? Perhaps you’ve believed in error all these years.

 Well, keep this in mind: Bad things happen when two things go wrong in a church: 1) when Christian pastors and teachers aren’t faithfully teaching their congregations the word of God, and 2) when Christians aren’t studying the Scriptures to make sure what they’re being taught is in line with God’s Word.

So, Paul and Silas must have been impressed when their missionary travels took them from Thessalonica to Berea. On the Sabbath day after they arrived, Paul entered the Jewish synagogue and started telling people about Jesus. And in verse 11, Luke gives us a wonderful summary of Paul’s ministry in Berea: “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

The Bereans are held up in this chapter as role models for you and me for three reasons. #1: The Bereans “were of more noble character than the Thessalonians.” The original Greek word translated as “noble” in the NIV Bible is “eugenes,” which also translates as “more open-minded” (NLT), “more willing to listen” (NCV), and “more receptive” (NRSV). In other words, the Bereans received Paul’s teaching with open ears. They weren’t “know-it-alls.” #2: The Bereans listened to the message with “great eagerness.” They were enthusiastic Bible students. And #3: The Bereans examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

The Bereans received Paul’s teaching enthusiastically, with open ears and an open mind—but they didn’t take what he said at face value. They did their homework. They searched and examined and studied the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said stood the test of God’s word. Then, and ONLY then, did they believe his teaching, hide it in their hearts and walk in obedience to it. I hope and pray that millions of Americans would do the same thing these Bereans did.

When it comes to correctly handling the word of truth, the stakes are too high for us to slack off. God is calling you to be a Berean. Here are five practical steps to help you do just that:

Step #1: Be an eager, enthusiastic student of God’s Word. Come to church on time with an open mind and heart.

Step #2: Listen carefully to the message being taught, with an open Bible in hand. Pastor Kevin DeYoung says, “You do not want to be at a church where you can listen to sermon after sermon and it doesn’t even matter if your Bible is open. You want to be at a church where the preaching is pulling you into the text—to see it, to listen to it, to find connections with it.”

Step #3: Take notes and write down questions so you can test what is taught with Scripture. Let’s be honest with each other: Most American Christians believed they have fulfilled their duty if they have gone to church and politely listened to the sermon. That’s not enough. The New Testament tells us to “Correctly handle the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) and “Be doers of the Word and not hearers only” (James 1:22).

Step #4: Spend quality time in God’s word EVERY DAY. You will never become a Berean if you just study the Bible once a week. Read at least one chapter every day and spend some time thinking about it, asking questions, searching for the answers to your questions, and praying over it.

Step #5: Give the Bible the final say in all matters of life and doctrine. Please don’t let me, or ANY pastor or teacher, boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, professor or boss, have the final word on matters of life and doctrine. GOD must have the final say. And God’s final say is detailed in the pages of Scripture.

Chuck Swindoll says it really well: “No matter how gifted or charismatic or well-trained and experienced your Bible teacher or pastor may be, form the healthy habit of checking what is being said against the Scriptures.” If you truly want to become “of more noble character” like the Bereans, let God and His Holy Word have the final say.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church in Victorville. Join us at Impact for Sunday services: in person at 9 a.m., or online at 10 a.m. on YouTube or Facebook Live. For more information, visit

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