Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
The Bible teaches us that there will be false Christs and false prophets in the last days. This will result in an increase of false teachings and erroneous principles that will infiltrate any church that names the name of Christ. No church, big or small, is exempt from the possibility of false teachings in their midst. How do we ensure that we are not deceived by people or groups who claim to be the right thing? The Bible tells us of a certain group of believers in Berea, giving us an example of what we must do to prevent false teaching and protect ourselves from false teachers.
The assembly at Berea was higher in rank (“more noble”) spiritually compared with other Christians. There are three reasons why:
First they accepted the Word of God
The word “received” means to welcome. It is an indicator of a genuine Christian to welcome the hearing of the Word of God. The disciple of Christ loves the Word of God. When it is preached, purely and sincerely, the believer in Christ welcomes it as food from Heaven, fresh loaf from the Lord to feed our hungry souls.
Secondly, they were eager for the Word of God
The word “readiness of mind” indicates an eager willingness to hear and accept the Word of God. It reflects a spiritual mind and heart that is open to the working of the Holy Spirit and, therefore, a soul which is fertile ground for Christ to place His precious seed of His Word and to transform that life for the glory of God.
Thirdly, although they were willing to listen to the Word of God, they were diligently comparing what they hear with what the Bible said.
It is a mark of a genuine believer to love the truth of God (John 5:39). It is important, therefore, for this believer that he search the Scriptures to study and know the Word of God. The Bible was their authority – they honoured the apostles and submitted to their leadership as the called of God but they knew that they had a personal responsibility to learn and search the Scriptures for themselves. They were active to confirm that what they heard was consistent with what they had read in the Bible. The Bible is a more sure word of prophecy and the disciples were trying the spirits to see if they were of God.
When the disciple of Christ learns to personally love the word and to check with Scriptures regarding things heard, he will be protected from the onslaught of the world and its deception and false teachings that pervade the churches today. May the Lord make the assembly at Ambassador noble because it searched the word daily to see if these things were so.
Evangelist-Pastor Johnny Tan
Ambassador Baptist Church