When you’re listening to a sermon, or you hear someone say something about what the Bible says, do you verify that what you’ve heard is true? 

In Acts 17:11, we’re given this insight about the Berean Jews.

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 (emphasis added).

Acts 17:11 (NIV)

If we hear someone tell us that a verse says this or that and means this thing or that thing, and we don’t have a Bible handy, there’s not much we can do to verify what we’ve heard. However, there are ways of leaving notes and checking them out when we have the time. If we’re in church, we can verify the Scripture by checking it in our Bible, but all that does is confirm that the speaker quoted the right verse. 

However, Acts 17:11 isn’t telling us that the Berean Jews verified that Paul was quoting the correct Scripture. No, Acts 17:11 tells us they “examined the Scriptures…to see if what Paul said was true.” This means they studied what the Scripture said and, most importantly, what it meant. If we’re in the middle of a sermon, where someone has quoted Scripture, they’re probably telling us what the Scripture means, and we certainly don’t have the time, while listening to the sermon, to verify if what’s been said is true. 

Therefore, we must be familiar with the Bible and what it says. There’s a lot said about discernment, but discernment requires a foundation from which to discern. Indeed, we need to be familiar with the character of God. Since the Bible is the inspired word of God, we can come to know his character by reading and studying his word. Although pastors and teachers are there to instruct us in God’s word, it’s our responsibility to learn God’s word, so we know that what we’re being taught lines up with God’s character. Otherwise, we’ll open ourselves up to all sorts of false teaching.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.