And 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. (Acts 17:10-11 NAS)
Berea was a city in ancient Greece, known today as Veria in Macedonia. The Christians in Berea had a spiritual nobility that is worth emulating. When Paul and Silas went to Berea, the scripture above notes that the Berean Christians “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”. They checked the scriptures for themselves.
Learning to search the scriptures is a critical skill for every believer to grow in. Your doctrine shapes your thinking, and ultimately, your entire life. Doctrine is what you know and accept as truth from the scripture. It cannot be technically equated with scriptures-it is the interpretation of scriptures that you have. Doctrinal error is a reality, and we are all susceptible to it. It occurs when someone, other than the Spirit, is interpreting the scriptures. It is critical you learn to read and meditate on the scriptures for yourself. Many believers are still living in Old Testament era where the interpretation of the scriptures was solely left for the scribes. Note who these Berean Christians were checking out-Paul and Silas! Learning to mine the scriptures will establish you in the faith, and keep you from being tossed around like waves on the sea and from deception.
Do you have the Berean spirit? Do you ever bother to cross-check some of the teachings you receive from “Men of God”?
Ask the Father to help you develop a habit of searching the scriptures yourself.
Do not take any human interpretation of the scripture as scriptures themselves. God, in His infinite wisdom, granted the authors of the Bible the grace to perfectly pen down His words without error for us. He continues to work through human instrumentality today to teach and expound on that Word. However, developing a Berean spirit to search the scriptures to double-check what you are being taught is critical for a sound spiritual life. The same is true of prophets and prophecies. Your guarantee for spiritual stability, and escape from potential manipulation, deception, and doctrinal error is to learn to search the scriptures yourself. All you need is your heart, the Bible and the Holy Spirit!
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