A Berean mindset

Witness to the world: Book of Acts  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  54:04
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More Troubles Ahead

Paul talks about troubles in many of his writings. Heaven knows he had enough of them. As he continues the journey after the tumult and troubles in Thessalonica he comes to Berea. The setting of our passage tonight.
Troubles reminded: unpersuaded Jews became envious of Paul’s preaching (Act17:5)
After being set free by the Spirit in Philippi and a jailers life saved. The mission team arrived at Thessalonica and Paul did what Paul does, preach.
Many were persuaded to believe, but yet there were some unpersuaded Jews who created trouble for Paul and the team.
Troubles reminded: troubles for Jason (Act17:5-6)
The troubles resulted in grabbing Jason and dragging him out since they could not find Paul, Timothy, Silas.
Accusations were made, they were “turning the world upside down”
Troubles reminded: troubled speech troubles crowd (Act17:7-8)
Accusations led to aggression in the crowd and of of the rulers of the city
Troubles reminded: Paul and Silas sent away by night (Act17:10)
After receiving security from Jason the team was let go and Paul and Silas left by night to Berea and that is our starting point tonight.
(Insert 2nd missionary trip picture here again)
Berea is located about 47 mi (Southwest) of Thessalonica, on the road to Athens. So again it was not a very short trip for those days. So when we read that them sought Paul because of the preaching and came there, it was a journey for them too.
There are some things we can learn from this short passage and hopefully you will see that by the time we are done tonight, at least that is my aim.
There is a scriptural basis to Paul’s preaching
There is a bitterness in the unpersuaded Jews that was hostile to the scripture of truth
You see the courage of Paul and the team in lieu of a turbulent history.

The Passage

There is power in God’s word and we are here to study God’s word so we can live God’s word so may we look, glean from God’s word now.
Acts 17:10–11 NASB95
10 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
Acts 17:12–13 NASB95
12 Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men. 13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica found out that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Berea also, they came there as well, agitating and stirring up the crowds.
Acts 17:14–15 NASB95
14 Then immediately the brethren sent Paul out to go as far as the sea; and Silas and Timothy remained there. 15 Now those who escorted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they left.
What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you?
Gleaning from the scripture
Question: Who was with Paul when they were sent out by night from Thessalonica? Where did they go upon entering Berea (v.10)?
Paul was with Silas and they went to the Synagogue of the Jews when entering the city.
Question: How did the Bereans receive the word (v.11)?
They were more noble-minded, and with great eagerness
Question: What did the Bereans do when they received the word with great eagerness (v.11)?
They examined the scriptures daily
Question: What was the results of the preaching and examining of the scripture (v.12)?
Many believed, including a number of prominent Greek women and men.
Question: Preaching, examining, believing brought more trouble, from where, and what did that result in (v.13)?
Trouble came from Thessalonica, and they came agitating and stirring up the crowds.
Question: The agitating and stirring up caused the the brethren to do what with Paul (v.14)?
Sent Paul out as far as the sea (by the way is about 6.5 mi away)
Question: After being escorted as far as Athens Paul gives a command, what was it (v.15)?
Send Silas and Timothy to come as soon as possible.
(Transition) So we have gleaned from the Word itself now, so now may we look at the Berean mindset and then the ignoble/dishonorable Thessalonians. You know for them coming after the team and taking it out on Jason and some others.

Mindset of the Noble Bereans

The mindset of the Berean Jews is worthy of being copied or emulated, for others then and for us today. They were more “noble-minded” and let’s look why and what we can learn from them for us today.
Due to the way they received the word from Paul (Act17:11)
How do you receive word, in this case it was a spoken proclamation from Paul. How did they receive it? - with all readiness (NKJV); with Eagerness (NASB); willingness (ISV).
Following Other examples (Deu13:14; Jn7:50-51)
Deuteronomy 13:14 NASB95
14 then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly. If it is true and the matter established that this abomination has been done among you,
In the O.T. a matter would be brought up, investigated then it would be established. So there had to be a willingness to hear, to listen, to even inquire, ask questions so then to investigate and draw a conclusion.
John 7:50–51 NASB95
50 Nicodemus (he who came to Him before, being one of them) said to them, 51 “Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?”
Nicodemus, I believe to be an undercover believer, turned to the Law to protect Jesus from undue persecution, prosecution without a fair hearing under the law.
Can we pass judgment on something, someone without proper investigation? They were more noble-minded because they were willing to give audience to Paul and received the word, the proclamation.
Their attitude in receiving it (other script used Pro18:13)
They recieved it with a willingness as I just mentioned, a willingness to give a fair hearing, whereas in many religious discussions people are unwilling to understand what others believe.
Do you know many do not even know why they believe what they believe, or they believe because of feelings not knowledge, investigation and drawing a wise conclusion.
Be like the Bereans, be willing to hear with an eagerness what others have to say, learn what they believe, why they believe then you can go from there.
There are many who argue, or pass judgment without listening, trying to understand someones thoughts or position on something.
Proverbs 18:13 NASB95
13 He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him.
Due to their study of God’s Word (Act17:11)
Acts 17:11 NLT
11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.
Ah had to give another version just to keep things in front of us.
Question: How often did the Berean’s search, study, examine the scriptures; and why(v.11)?
Day after day
To see if what Paul was teaching was it the truth.
So, let’s consider that some more, it says day by day, what does that tell us? - it is not a Sunday thing, it is a daily thing, it is a habit, a pattern. They did it to check things out to make sure what they were being told was true that it lined up with the scriptures.
Another thing we can learn from this one verse is that they acknowledged the authority of the scripture. (other scriptures to consider (Deu4:1-2; 2Tim3:16-17; Rev22:18-19)
Deuteronomy 4:1–2 NASB95
1 “Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 2 “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
In Deu4:1-2, as well as Rev22:18-19 there is instruction what not to do, what is it (see v.2)?
Do not add, nor take from the word!
Paul tell’s Timothy more too
2 Timothy 3:16–17 NASB95
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
The Word is not just for knowledge, it is for application too, so the Bereans were not just searching day by day to see if it were true but to see for application for the works of service, good service that they word tells them to do.
The willingness to receive the Word of God is an O.T. and a N.T. and should be a you and me thing too.
The Bereans believed and responded not because of what Paul had to say, but what God’s Word had to say. Many came to believe (v.12)
Many believe because of what someone told the to believe, the Bereans believed because they heard the word and then searched, examined the scriptures before responding with belief.
Many believe because someone told them what to believe.
Many don’t know why they believe what they believe.
We need to be more noble-minded like the Bereans and have their attitude and example and be ready to search the scripture because in reality let me share a quote from Jon Courson.
“Folks, the power is in the Word - it’s not ‘What do you thing?’ or ‘What do i think?’ but ‘what does God say?’”
Many problems within the church and can bring others to be the church could be solved by people following the Bereans, to having their mindset!
To summarize this section three take away’s:
Listen carefully to understand others
Study diligently the scriptures to see if what is being said is true
Make it your pattern to day by day to search, examine the scriptures.
(Transition) from the noble Bereans to the ignoble Thessalonians. Remember they got all worked up there and came to Berea to get Paul and start problems there.

Ignoble/Dishonorable Thessalonians

Ignoble is the opposite of noble and the Jews at Thessalonica had that kind of mindset. And those are who followed Paul and Silas to Berea (Act17:13)
Acts 17:13 HCSB
13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica found out that God’s message had been proclaimed by Paul at Berea, they came there too, agitating and disturbing the crowds.
Question: What was the purpose the Thessalonians came to Berea (v.13)?
They found out God’s message was proclaimed
In the finding out and then travelling 60 mi to Berea they must have thought the word truly was that, God’s word, God’s message and they wanted to stop it! That sounds pretty ignoble doesn’t it? - now don’t be too hard on them, or there were others before them
Other ignoble examples
The unbelieving Jews in Jerusalem (Act6:9-14)
The Jews of the Synagogue of Freedmen, rose up and argued with Stephen
The unbelieving Jews in Antioch of Pisidia (Act13:50)
They incited devout women and leading men and instigated persecution against Pul and Barnabas.
The unbelieving Jews in Iconium (Act14:2)
They stirred up the minds of the Gentiles and embittered them
The ignoble followed the mission team from town to town even (Act14:19; Act17:13)
Acts 14:19 NASB95
19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.
Ad we just looked at Act17:13, so no reason to put that back up again at this time.
(Insert consider these things picture here)
Considerations for a time such as this,there are ignoble people today just as there were then.
Today’s world presents ignoble people too and let me point to a few
Denominations that attack the Church of Christ
Due to baptism’s necessity
Structure of the church (by elders, not Pastor or congregation)
Have you heard “Campbellites” or that “they are a cult thinking they are the only ones saved.”
Even within the Church of Christ
Mainstream churches attacking conservative churches regarding church benevolence, with names such as “anti, or orphan haters”
Conservative churches attacking less conservative churches- One cup vs. multi cup calling them liberal churches
Some leaving the church, dividing the church over instrumental music that is pretty clear in the scripture on what pleases God.
Women’s role, MDR, even church discipline can bring contention
Maybe to sum up all of this for this evening
Because of the unbelieving Jews Paul leaves Berea (Act17:14)
There maybe people that are unbelieving or have a religious nature and not a scripture base who may try to bring problems persecutions upon the church even today.
The Bereans had a noble-minded eager mindset that received the word, investigated the the word to make sure the word as the Word of God then put it into action. We too should always examine things in the light of God’s Word.
We have seen the ignoble Thessalonians (unbelieving Jews) who came from religious tradition and brought about persecution of the innocent proclaiming God’s Word.
We have seen the courage of the mission team, they are run out of towns, beaten, jailed, threatened, followed and yet they, especially Paul did not give up. - the work must go on, and for Paul it was Athens next the most intellectual city, the place of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, so come back next week for our next part of the journey
(Transition to close)
(Insert Mindset matters picture here)
Challenge question: What mindset do you have? Do your actions prove your mindset? Are you trusting others for your belief or are you searching day by day the scriptures for your own belief?
Your mindset matters, need to change it, then be a Berean day by day. Need to grow it, be a Berean day by day. Want to share it, be a Berean day by day and apply your belief into your life and be a light!
(Prayer) (Exit)
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