Beauty Of Berea!


Follower and Believer of Christ
The views from the city were simply breath-taking.. The Vermion Mountains that surrounded much of the small town. And the running streams that flowed out of these mountains, pouring into the small city. As Paul looked around him, he could not but help to be in awe of the beauty of God’s handy work. But as in awe that Paul was of the views, he was even more so of the people that filled the streets of this small town. People who reflected an even greater beauty in the handy work of the Lord above.

The Bible describes Berea as a place like few others. In six verses, Luke paints us an incredible picture of the people that made up this small town. We are shown their character, their intelligence, what drives them, and what they most desire. Luke tells us in Acts 17:10-15, “The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 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. Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men. 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. Then immediately the brethren sent Paul out to go as far as the sea; and Silas and Timothy remained there. 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.

In these verses we see what Luke saw in the people of Berea. The example that was seen in these people of God, the example that was recorded in God’s Word for all of us to follow today. In these verses we see six characteristics that every church in this nation should strive for. Six traits that should be found inside the walls of every church today.

Eagerness to receive the Word
Luke tells us that the people of Berea received the Word of God with great eagerness. The Greek language describes the receiving of this with eagerness as an act of great zeal, to do so with acceptance and a welcoming nature, to find a place for it in our heart. As Christians, we are called to approach the Word with an open heart, willing to find a place in our heart for God’s Truth. We are to seek an understanding of what the Scripture says, and turn to the Holy Spirit to show us the truth in that understanding. 1 John 2:20 tells us that we have an anointing from the Holy Spirit. The Greek translation of this verse says we have a “special endowment” from the Holy Spirit, In other words, when we honestly seek God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will lead us to the truth in that Word.

These verses tells us that the Bereans did not turn Paul and Silas away, but received them with an eagerness to understand and know the truth in the Word. We must approach the Word of God with the same eagerness today. As we fill our church each Sunday, we should expect the Word to be preached. As we hear this message, in each of us should be found a hunger to understand and know the truth in that message. We should open our hearts to make room for that Word, and allow that Word to mold and shape each of us. When we are true to God, that “special endowment” will them take that Word, and put it into practice in each of us.

Examine the Scriptures for God’s Truth
When the people of Berea heard Paul and Silas speak, they were excited by what they heard. But they did not let this excitement drive them, they let God stay in the driver’s seat! When they heard the Good News of Christ, the first thing they did was turn to the Scriptures. They went back to the Old Testament to make sure that what they were hearing was confirmed and fulfilled in God’s Word. And look at the results! Many within the synagogue came to accept Christ, and from this truth the Word quickly spread. We are told that others, Gentiles in the city, were led to Christ also.

As Christians, we must always find ourselves as students of the Word. We must always seek the truth, and we must know that the truth can only be found in God’s Word and Word of God alone. Isaiah 8:20 tells us, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” And Christ told us, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me.”(John 5:39). We are commanded to search the Scriptures! We are to subject all that is taught to us against the authority of the Word. There is not a preacher worth his salt, that does not welcome this subjectivity and questioning. It brings a smile to most of their faces, because they know that the words they spoke led someone to turn to God’s Word.

God does not call us to a blind faith, but to a rational one. Our faith can withstand any test this world may throw at it. It can hold up to any intellectual scrutiny, and will always shine bright no matter what question is thrown its’ way. God wants us to never forget, an unexamined faith is not worth anyone’s time or their devotion. Truth is never afraid to be examined!

Christians must have a discerning heart
Just as the Bereans searched the Scriptures to find the truth, we today must search those same Scriptures to make sure we are not being deceived. We watch today as people proclaim many things in the name of God. Our televisions and or computers are filled with evangelist claiming to speak and explain the Word of God. So how do we know who is speaking the truth, and who is just looking to make a fast buck at God’s expense? The same way the Bereans knew to trust the preaching of Paul and Silas!

1 John 4:1 tells us, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” This is why the example the Bereans set is so important for us to follow today. The world is filled with those who will come to deceive us, and they are lead by the master of all deceivers(1 John 4:1). Satan has deceivers among us today, those who teach another Gospel, and who preach about another Christ. The example of the Bereans grounds us, it teaches us to trust what God has written, not what man has proclaimed.

God’s Word is our Daily Bread
Man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”(Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4). Before the Bereans even knew Christ, they knew the power of these words as Moses spoke them. Luke’s words tell us that the Bereans examined the Scriptures daily, that they spent time in God’s Word each day, When we spend time with God each day, our relationship with Him grows. Just like any relationship, when we spend time with someone we understand them better. We know their likes and dislikes, we learn their tendencies, and we notice and appreciate all the things they do for us. The same is with God!

Psalm 119:11, tells us, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” The closer our relationship to God, the greater distance sin finds itself from our lives. The more time we spend with God, the more His Words fill our mind and our thoughts. And as each word of Scripture enters our mind, the more His truth becomes our truth.

God’s Way is our way
Luke’s words tell us, “Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.“ When the truth of Christ and the fulfillment of God’s Word was presented to the Bereans, they not only clung to it, but proclaimed it! His Word did not stop at their hearts, but filled their thoughts and their voices.

Today we often forget, God’s Word is not passive, it is alive. When we accept Christ, we do not find ourselves at the culmination of our calling, but at the beginning of it. Before He ascended into Heaven, Christ gave us a command that we were all to follow. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”(Matthew 28:19-20). We know these words as the Great Commission. When we look closely at the words of this command that Christ gave us, we see words that are far from being passive. “Go”, “make”, “baptize”, and “teach”, are all words that call us into action. We are to be disciples and witnesses for Christ, fulfilling the Great Commission to all the world today.

The Church must stand strong on the Word of God
We are told that enemies of Paul came to the town of Berea, trying to stir up trouble. As this happened, we see the Berean church rise to the occasion, defending Paul and providing for his safety. We are also told that Timothy and Silas continued to stay in Berea for awhile longer, so they would have continued to defend these men also. We are also told that the men that stirred up this trouble came from the synagogue in Thessalonica. Since Paul and those with him came to Berea from that city, these troublemakers would have been very aware of what was being preached. It is not a reach to believe that the church of Berea was more than capable to stand up to these men, and defend what they believed. Had they not, the church would have been shut down from the start. But from the words of Luke, we know this did not happen. The church of Berea continued, as we are told that a man from this church named Sopater, likely a Gentile Christian, accompanied Paul on his mission(Acts 20:3-4). The church of Berea continued to grow in their faith, able to produce men who could be sent out to spread the message of the Good News.

Like the Bereans, we are called to give more than a welcoming presentation of the Good News, we are also called to be able to give a strong defense of our faith. We should not only be able to answer why we believe(1 Peter 3:15), but be willing and able to tell others why they should also believe. A verse of the Bible we all know, gives us the perfect example of this. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”(John 14:6). We must be able to show others not only why Christ is the way, but why He is the only way. Why no other religion that man has created can meet the standard that Christ set. In this all inclusive, interfaith world that surrounds us today, we find ourselves in tremendous need of believers who will rise to the occasion. Those who are willing to stand up, and tell all who will hear that every road does not lead to Heaven. Those who are informed, able to tell a deceived world that all “gods” are not God.

Like the Bereans, the Church today needs to be willing to step out on that ledge for Christ and stare danger in the face. We must become the willing example of a witness that the Bereans showed us. Most today do not understand what being a witness for Christ truly means. The term witness, comes from three Greek words of the same origin. “Martyreo”, meaning “to bear witness or testify”. “Martyria”, meaning “for the record”. And “Martys”, meaning “the person bearing witness”. We find these words used one hundred and fifty times in the New Testament. All three forms of the word are used when describing Christ, and those who have and will accept Christ as their Savior. The last form of the word is where we get our word today “martyr”. Now I am not saying that a witness is a calling for us to run off and give our life, but what I am saying is that we should be willing to give all for Christ. As a witness of Christ, we should testify to the difference that He alone has made in our life. We should be willing to put this testimony on the record, for all to see and hear. And we should be willing to be accounted for, quick to stand up for Christ, each of us bearing witness and defending our faith. Like the Bereans, this task may not always be easy. Risk and ridicule may come our way. But with the Truth on our side, the rewards will always be great. The Church today must be willing to join the Bereans on that ledge, with a Cross in one hand, and God’s Word in the other!

Berea, an ancient city filled with such grace and beauty. When we look at Luke’s words, we soon begin to see Berea as Paul must have seen Berea. The beauty of Berea did not lie in the landscape that surrounded it, but the true beauty of Berea was found in the hearts of those that made up that early church!

In each of you may the beauty of Berea be found!



Heaven's Stables
Thank you Mike for sharing your knowledge of God's Word, guiding us in applying that Word to our everyday lives, and for motivating us to share Christ with the lost for a last great harvest of souls into the Kingdom, but most of all thank you for sharing your love of the brethren with this forum. We love you so much!

Belle of Grace

Longing for Home
Bro. Mike, this may be your best one yet. I loved it!
Thank you once again for blessing us with another of your insightful and spiritually nourishing posts.
You are appreciated around here. :thumbup


I Love the Lord
Thank you Bro Mike...this one indeed is my favorite because the Bereans challenge and inspire me and hold a special place in my heart. What great examples these followers of Christ were!