Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Are you a Berean or a Chris-John.


Following on from my last blog on "Having a teachable spirit" I would like to examine some folk who were very teachable and therefore very fruitful right out of Gods word. But first let me relay a true story that comes from a Church where I was in a leadership position many years ago.

The tale of the Chris-John Church

The Church was led by two leaders Chris and John who took turns in leading and preaching week by week . Teaching and instructing the Church from Gods word with passion and vision.

 However, it came to my notice that in our home groups I began to hear people say "yes I really believe in that because I actually heard John say that in a preach a few weeks ago" or "Chris said we are forgiven in his sermon on Sunday ,so I guess we are forgiven if he said it eh?".

 Now before I get myself into trouble with this story let me make very clear that thankfully the teaching they were receiving was right out of Gods word and good sound teaching too!(Phew!) However, the way people were receiving the message each week was turning them not into believing Christians but rather believing Chris- Johns. When asked why they believed in any subject very few if any could say from where they had heard it from other than in a sermon at some point by Chris or John.

Now this is not a blog about becoming chapter and verse Christians because to be honest I hate it when Christians say things like " Oh that's an Ephesian"s 2 v 10 issue" or  "As we know from Ephesians 4" such comments are sure to alienate new believers (and some old too!). Or give a superior air to those speaking.
No!. This blog is about being a people who know what we believe and why we believe it.

In Acts Chapter 17 we read of some people called the Bereans. This is what we read about them....


11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. 13 When the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, they went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. 14 The brothers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. 

We are told they were of more noble character than the Thessalonians (The last place Paul had visited) and if we read on we see the next Place Paul visited was Athens where the people we are told in verse ...

21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

But! right in the middle of these two places Paul visited he had this little visit with the Bereans whom the scriptures endear to us with these words

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

 The teachable people 

what were they? ....Teachable .... and not just teachable but looking at the scriptures for themselves to make sure what they were being taught came right out of Gods word. There was no chance of these guys becoming Chris- Johns. (or Paul-Tim's which doesn't work for me here!)

What was the fruit of this teachable people?.....again lets look at it straight out of the text.

12 Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. 

Being teachable people to them meant  Paul could go on to other places absolutely sure of his work and the work of the gospel prospering in them and through them .

A teachable spirit meant they could now take the message received and pass it on with faith and confidence that it was Gods living active truth for all who will receive it.

So......Teachable or not?

So what are you ? Who in the story do you most look like? A Chris - John  or a Berean ?
Do you have a teachable spirit? Are you rooted and sure of what you believe?

OR.......did you hear someone say something about that somewhere sometime back?...ish,
sort of ...well I think?