The Berean Fellowship – come and join us!

These lesson notes were written and prepared for our church’s Sunday School class, so they will contain references that will be personal and specific for our group – but I pray and hope they are general enough to be helpful to others also … maybe even you!
Spiritual Exercises / Lesson #1

 

 

THE BEREAN FELLOWSHIP – come and join us!

Acts 17.10-17 | Paul and Silas in Berea

10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 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. 12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. 13 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. 14 Then the brothers immediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there. 15 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.

WHAT IS “THE BEREAN FELLOWSHIP”?

I am inviting you to come and join us in this joint challenge and Bible-reading venture we are calling “THE BEREAN FELLOWSHIP.” I’m naming it that after the Jews whom Paul found in the synagogue in Berea, who 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.”

The Jews in the synagogue in Thessalonica had rejected Paul’s teaching them from the Scriptures [the Old Testament Scriptures] that Jesus Christ was the Messiah and Savior that God had been promising in all the OT Scriptures. [see verses 2-3 … we’ll come back to this later…]

The Bereans, however, DID NOT REJECT the Word of God and Paul’s teachings concerning Christ from them. To the contrary, they responded with a four-fold response:

1.      “They RECEIVED the Word with all eagerness” Or, another way to put it would be: “they were all in – all for it!” “they were eating it up!” “They couldn’t get enough!” “They couldn’t wait for the next Sabbath service!” [and that’s precisely where this is going… because they couldn’t wait for the next service – they had to be looking for themselves, on their own, like, every day…]

2.      They examined the Scriptures [KJV, ‘searched’]. They were poring over it. They were reading, pondering, meditating, studying, looking into the meaning of what they were reading. They were comparing what they were reading with other Scriptures [see verse 3 – like Paul did when he preached]. They would talk about it among themselves. They would ask each other questions – and share the insights and input that each of them had to contribute. And, then, the next time they had a synagogue service with Paul, they would compare their notes and ask him to talk about what the Scriptures meant. [And, we need to keep in mind, that “the Scriptures” they had was the Old Testament – the New Testament books had not been written yet…]

3.      They were loving, looking for, and learning more and more about Jesus Christ. When Luke writes ‘to see if these things were so,’ he is referring to what Paul had been talking about in their synagogue services. So, what had Paul been pointing out and talking about? Well, go back a few verses to see what it was that those in Thessalonica had rejected and that the Bereans had received, looked into, and learned with such eagerness and enthusiasm. You’ll find it in verses 2-3:

And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.”

That’s what they were searching for and finding – and so happy about! They were discovering Jesus Christ and His Gospel in all the OT Scriptures!

4.      THEY DID THIS EVERY DAY! It was not just a ‘Sabbath Day’ thing. They were not like so many – just occasional ‘auditors’ of the Word of God. It became their daily practice … “examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so!”

So, there you have it – that is ‘The Berean Fellowship’!

THE CHALLENGE

So, my challenge to you is this: Will you join us, and let’s do this together:

  • to receive God’s Word [Old Testament and New Testament alike] with a voracious love, eager excitement and anticipation…
  • to read it, examining, seeking, searching, looking for, and finding Jesus Christ in all the writings, on all the pages…
  • and to do it every day!?

DO YOU READ THE SCRIPTURES DAILY?

  • Do you read the Scriptures daily?
  • Have you developed the practice, the discipline, the daily ‘habit’ [if you will] of reading God’s Word, the Scriptures every day?
  • Do you read the Word of God regularly – not as just a rote, mindless repetition – but as a regular, consistent spiritual exercise and practice?
  • Do you have an orderly plan or systematic schedule of reading portions to help you keep yourself on task and on target?

If you DO NOT, now is the perfect time and a perfect way to start developing the exercise and discipline of daily reading the Word of God!

If you DO, I’m asking you for the sake of group unity, comradery, and encouragement to do what I plan to do myself – and that is, suspend and interrupt your already-scheduled reading plan and let’s all join together for this 100-day Essential 100 Bible Reading Plan.

THE ESSENTIAL 100 BIBLE READING PLAN

http://store.scriptureunionresources.com/e100/

This is a simple, easy to follow, plan for reading 100 carefully selected passages from the Bible that will highlight many of the key events and teachings that make up the Bible timeline.

Obviously, this plan is not a complete and comprehensive reading of the Bible. Much of the Bible will be left out. But it will give us a panoramic scan of the Bible … the big picture and the brightest highlights of the Bible’s storyline.

50 of these readings are from the Old Testament; the other 50 are from the New Testament. So, in the reading of these 100 passages, you will have completed a scan of the whole Bible – from Genesis to Revelation!

Plus, in doing so, you will also have begun [if you aren’t already], to cultivate and develop the practice of daily reading of the Scriptures – which we all ought to be doing.

I have given you three formats to help you follow this Essential 100 Bible Reading Plan:

  1. I have prepared for you the 4-page paper schedule of the Bible readings
  2. I have also sent you who are here at BRBC the printed card of the Bible reading schedule
  3. And, to those of you who use your electronic devices [computer, tablet, phone], you can either just go to the YouVersion Bible website, and you will find this same The Essential 100 Bible Reading Plan in their “Plans” page [do a search for Essential 100], or you can download the YouVersion app to your device and set up the plan for yourself.

https://my.bible.com/reading-plans/25-the-essential-100

We are looking forward to sharing these next 100 days together in The Word of God!

  • “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day!” ~Psalm 119.97
  • “…but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.” ~Psalm 1.2
  • “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” ~Luke 24.27“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness of Me…!” ~John 5.39

This entry was posted in Bible Reading, Daily Time With God, Discipleship, I've been thinking, Spiritual Exercises, Sunday School lessons. Bookmark the permalink.

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