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What Does it Mean to Be a Berean?

Everybody wants to be a Berean. The problem is, most people want the title of Berean but would fight me to the death before they actually became a Berean. What do I mean? Read on…

Where does this idea of being a Berean come from? The answer is Acts 17:10-12.

Most of us properly desire to be called a Berean. We might even call ourselves one. However, I believe most of us may not actually understand what it means to be a Berean.

Why Be a Berean?

Why do I say it is desirable to strive for this title of “Berean?” Acts 17:11, “…these were more noble-minded…” God calls them noble-minded in the scriptures.

Who wouldn’t want to be considered noble-minded by God? If God calls you noble-minded, you are standing in a class by yourself, for only Bereans are called noble-minded in the entire New Testament. Being noble-minded is pleasing to God and it is something we rightly aspire to be called. Being a Berean means being noble-minded.

What was it that made the Bereans noble-minded? Again Acts 17:11, “…they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”

3 Lessons from the Bereans

There are three things we learn from this passage that explains why God saw these Bereans as noble-minded.

1 – They received the word with great eagerness. They listened to what Paul had to say. Then, not simply receiving the word, but doing so with eagerness. We have Paul’s words as scriptures today. If you read the scriptures with great eagerness, you are a third of the way to being a Berean.

2 – They examined the scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Paul’s words are scripture to us today. The Bereans had what we call the Old Testament. So we can say they compared what Paul said to the Old Testament to determine if Paul was right. When we compare teachings to scripture, we are another third of the way there.

3 – The attitude of the Bereans. Acts 17:12, “Therefore many of them believed…”

Here is where many of us fall short of the title of “Berean”. Our attitudes are not like the Bereans.

What was their attitude? Understand, they had a belief system just like the Pharisees that was core to their religion, their beliefs and their lives. Yet they became believers in Jesus and turned from their previous beliefs. They accepted these new beliefs being taught by Paul, even though these beliefs countered what they had been taught their whole lives. However, when they examined the scriptures, they realized Paul’s teaching fit better with the scriptures than their old beliefs.

We don’t do this. We fall short. We refuse to change our thinking. If a teaching matches what we already believe, we call it good. If someone teaches something different, we reject it out of hand, even if it makes more sense scripturally than our current beliefs. When we do this, we are not Bereans. Bereans are people who are ready to change their beliefs when a teaching is more scripturally sound than their current beliefs.

Earlier, I said it was proper for us to desire to be Bereans. At that time, you probably agreed. The question is, now that you fully understand what it takes to be a Berean, are you still desirous of that title? Are you ready to give up your long-held beliefs if someone comes to you with a teaching that is more Biblically sound?

I pray you are. Don’t hold on to old beliefs because they are what you’ve always heard or it is what everyone else is saying. Nothing is greater than understanding Biblical truth. It is what made the Bereans noble-minded.

Your Turn

If you agree with this post, share it. Let me know in the comments why you consider yourself a Berean. Please share examples of letting go of an old belief for a Biblically based new one so others can benefit from your example. God bless…