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The Noble Path

Acts: Christ Builds His Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Intro:

AG: The musicians of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra were once asked to name the most effective conductor. Arturo Toscanini won, hands down. When asked why, one of the instrumentalists said, "He could anticipate when you were about to make a mistake, and keep you from making it." This man had human discernment. Discernment, like musical talent, is innate, but it is not like the gift of perfect pitch. The gift of discernment can be taught, practiced, and developed.
AG:
TS: Having to leave Thessalonica due to the security bond taken up from Jason, they went to Berea. Berea was 50 miles from Thessalonian and became the next location for a church plant.
The work begins like always, at the synagogue, but things take a different path. Instead of rejecting, v. 11 says:
Acts 17:11 ESV
Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
They choose the noble path. Instead of an emotional reaction, they went to the source of all wisdom, God’s word, to test Paul’s words. Evidently, a many believed and those who didn’t, at least didn’t reject the word. The opposition didn’t come from Berea, this time it was from another town, Thessalonica.
RS: As we examine this passage, let us look more closely at the noble path of the Bereans. We should follow their example when encountering anyone teaching God’s word.
Acts 17:10–15 ESV
The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Berea also, they came there too, agitating and stirring up the crowds. Then the brothers immediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there. Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens, and after receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed.

Receive the Word

Acts 17:11 ESV
Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Acts 17:
EX: The Bereans received the word.
They heard and took to heart the teaching of Paul about Jesus.
Paul always proclaimed Jesus
1 Corinthians 2:1–5 ESV
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Paul proclaimed Christ and him crucified.
The Bereans received that word
They listened to it
They considered it.
They accepted it.
AP: We must receive the Word of God
Many today never consider the word
Like many of Paul’s listeners in other towns, they reject the claims of Christ without ever giving them a thought.
We must be open to learning from God

Examine the Scriptures

Acts 17:11 ESV
Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
EX: The Bereans examined the Scriptures
They took what they had received and then compared it to the Scriptures
They compared the claims Paul had made and went back to the source to see if they were in line with God’s revealed truth.
Jesus had used the same approach on the road to Emmaus
Luke 24:26–27 ESV
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luke 24:
We don’t know exactly which passages they used to check out Paul’s claims, but perhaps they included:
We don’t know exactly which passages they used to check out Paul’s claims, but perhaps they included:
Zechariah 12:10 ESV
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.
Zechariah had predicted the One they pierced
Psalm 16:8–11 ESV
I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Z
In , Peter applied this passage to prove the Messiah would not decay, but would rise again.
offers one of the most profound prophecies in the entire Old Testament, written over 700 years before Christ's death and resurrection
Isaiah 53:3–6 ESV
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
After atoning for sin, sacrifice, he will be raised
Isaiah 53:10 ESV
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Peter in describes how we are saved by "the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."   Jesus was the fulfillment of the Levitical system of blood sacrifice (e.g. ).  Jesus was the true spotless lamb whose blood could take away sins.  The sacrifice of bulls and goats could never take away sin,
Psalm 40:6 ESV
In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.
:
There are many others we could examine this morning, but we will add just one more from the oldest book of the Bible.
Psalm 16:10 ESV
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
Job 19:
Job 19:25–26 ESV
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God,
Resurrection is throughout the Bible
Job had a strong belief in it
Added to and other prophecies we see clearly Jesus the Messiah had to die to pay the penalty for our sin and be resurrected.
AP: We must judge all teaching by the Bible
AP:
Today, there is easy access to preaching and teaching of God’s word.
books, Radio, TV, Podcasts, web sites, etc.
CAUTION: Not all so called teachers of God’s word are teaching God’s word.
Many lift verses out of context and justify false doctrine.
We must use discernment when analyzing any teaching.
1 Thessalonians 5:21–22 ESV
but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
1 John 4:1 ESV
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Discernment -- the ability to think biblically about all areas of life -- is indispensable to an uncompromising life. It is incumbent upon the Christian to seize upon the discernment that God has provided for in His precious truth! Without it, Christians are at risk of being "tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine" ()
Take what you have heard or read about God and go to the source:
a. Pray- ask Him to show you the truth of the matter. ask for wisdom, He promised to provide it ()
b. Search- Dig into God’s word.
Use a topical Bible or internet search tool like Bible Gateway, YouVersion App etc.
Type in the topic under consideration and begin to read what the Bible says.
Learning to verify for yourselves in priceless.
I, and all biblical preachers, want to be trusted.
However, I encourage you to check me out.
Take note of what I say, and go back to God’s word and prayerfully analyze it.

Believe

Acts 17:12 ESV
Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.
EX: They believed the truth
God’s word was proclaimed, received and studied.
The truth then was believed.
They answered God’s invitation through Paul
They had faith in Jesus and repented of their sins.
Thus, they became God’s children by adoption.
They acted on the truth.
AP: We must act upon the truth.
Hear it
Study it
Live it!
Once a teaching or thought has been verified from the Word.... LIVE IT
Apply it to your life and live it out for HIS glory.

Conclusion:

The Bereans displayed great character as they followed a noble path.
They received the Word
They verified it by the Scripture
They obeyed it.
We must do the same.
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