Summary: Those at this city on Paul’s 2nd Missionary Journey received the Word in 3 ways that we all should receive it. Link included to Formatted Text Version, Handout, and PowerPoint Template.
Blessing at Berea
Acts 17:10-14; I Thess. 2:13
In Thessalonica the apostles were Resisted, but in Berea they were Received. Next time we’ll look at Athens where they were Ridiculed.
We can learn a lot here about Bible Study. God called these people “noble” which means “excellent”. God gave them a star, a smiley face, an A+ for their Bible Study.
Notice 3 key words:
We need to approach the Word of God with faith.
1 Thess. 2:13
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
This sounds like double-talk. “when you received it you received it.” But it’s not double-talk. It’s actually 2 different words in the original language.
Paralambano=to casually taste something, or to hear it with only your ears
Decomai=to hear it with your heart, to embrace or welcome
Paul was thankful that they didn’t just hear it with their ears, but received it into their hearts. [be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only]
Ill.—young man at home is watching a movie/dad yells for him to take out the garbage/ “ok”/sits there for another hour
Did he hear it with his ears?
Did he embrace it with his heart? No!
Ill.—couple has dated for months/she wonders if ever he’ll pop the question/one night they went out to eat at a romantic restaurant, w/ candles and violins/he looks at her and says, “Matilda?”/ “Yes, Throckmorten”/ “Can I ask you a question?”/ “sure” [getting excited]/ “pass me that ketchup”/ “oh, ok, here it is” / “one more thing…will you marry me?”/ “oh, yes, Throckmorten, yes, I’ll marry you!” and throws her arms around his neck!
Did she hear it with her ears?
Did she embrace it with her heart? Yes!
Guess which word is used in 17:11? The latter! They received the word w/ their hearts!
Did you know that many people hear the Word w/ their ears and don’t allow it into their heart? Some can come for years on end and it never changes their hearts, their lifestyle, their world-view. How can this be?
We need to approach the Word of God with faith. We must believe that this is not the words of mere mortals, but of God! We must always approach His Word w/ the attitude: God has a personal message suited just to me!
For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
We believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God. For several reasons:
• It’s drawing power—I had to take World Literature in college and read Shakespeare and all that. For some reason it’s all highly acclaimed and I cannot figure out why or get much out of it myself! Was there a crowd? Yes, we HAD to attend, because they knew we wouldn’t if not by force! But the Word of God draws a crowd, week after week…we talk about this 1 book, and it never gets old, and we can always walk away with so much! Just keep bringing your Bible to church, it’s all we need and all we’ll use!
• It’s universal appeal—to young and old, white collar and blue collar, all ages, all races, all classes. All, that is, who are looking and searching for something…who want the learn the truth…who have a humble, teachable spirit!
A question for you tonite: Can you take it when the Word is rough with you? How do you fare when God’s Word deals w/ you about an area that needs to be changed? Some people don’t like what they hear sometimes. But really what they don’t like is what they see in the mirror. James tells us that the Word is a mirror, which doesn’t lie.
Ever looked in a mirror and got mad? Ever looked in a mirror and seen a pimple that didn’t use to be there?/a wrinkle that didn’t use to be there?/a chin that didn’t use to be there? It doesn’t do any good to get mad at the mirror, or the one holding the mirror!
But oftentimes people come to church and the mirror of the Word shows them something they don’t like, but they get mad at the mirror, or at the church, or at the one holding the mirror. I’ve been accused before of “preaching at” somebody. They say, you were talking to me. You aimed that at me…and what they’re talking about came right out of the expository text as we go thru the Bible verse by verse…only God can do what they were crediting me for! They think I’ve been reading their mail, but I haven’t, and yet God has been, so He sends them a message!