Study from God’s Word… Acts Acts 5: 36 through chapter 18: 11, documenting Paul’s second missionary journey to Asia-Minor and southern Greece … Passage for Reflection: Acts 17: 11 [in the context of verses 10 – 12] … NIV 10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
My Journal for Today: What is truth, anyway? And that’s a question which rattled Pilate when he was adjudicating Jesus’ fate [see John 18: 37-38]. Pilate was weighing two truths; and all he could really focus on was the worldly, political truth that he had a man before him who was touted as “a king;” and the truth of Roman power during that time was that only Caesar could be king. So, for Pilate, political truth weighed more heavily that the pursuit of absolute truth; and THE truth, as it turned out, was standing right before Pilate in the person of The Christ.
But, as we read, in the book of Acts, of the 2nd missionary journey of Paul and some of his compatriots, including Silas, Timothy, and Luke, we read of Paul being led by the Holy Spirit to Berea; and from Acts 17: 10-15 [linked] we have today’s highlight passage, one I hold to strongly because of the example set by the Berean Jews who encountered Paul and heard him preaching the Gospel. These Berean believers, in the one, true God, were well trained and well-versed in the Scripture as they knew it, which was The Law and the written words of the Prophets. So, when they encountered Paul, preaching a new type of truth, the first thing that they did was to go back and match what Paul was teaching with THE TRUTH of Scripture to see if the word Paul was bringing could stand up to the plumb of truth as they knew it from God’s Holy Word.
And that, my fellow Christian, is exactly the attitude which we should have when we hear people of worldly influence (and I’m now thinking of people like Oprah Winfrey), spouting messages they claim to be truth, especially messages which do not square up with Scripture, as we know it, which, of course, includes the canonized and scholarly translated Bible.
We need to be Bereans in our beliefs, holding closely to truth, absolute truth, such as is found in 2nd Tim. 3: 16-17, which I hope you know, which says, All SCRIPTURE is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. And this scriptural plumb of truth, the Bible, teaches (in 1st John 4: 1 and 1st Thess. 5: 21) for believers to test out all espoused doctrine and ideas to see, as the Bereans did, … if worldly ideas are in accord with God’s truth as we know it from the Bible.
As today’s devotional title by Dr. Smith posits, we, as Christians, need to have a "holy hunger for truth" as we live live in a world of growing secularism and increasing relativity of ideas. Therefore, as we are trying to know what is “truth,” we must have a solid, believable, and steady standards upon which to stand in the world of ideas. And as we glean from what God has shared with me today, this TRUTH is found – and only found - in the person of Jesus Christ and documented in His Holy Word.
Therefore, when you hear doctrines being taught or preached in the marketplace of ideas and ideals, such as those by the likes of Oprah and even false “christian” teachers, like the so-called word-of-faith proponents, we need to be like the Bereans and go back to check these teachings to see if they test out positive when it comes to the plumb and standard of Biblical truth.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, help us to become Holy obsessed with Your TRUTH which is found and give to us by Your word, the Bible. Amen