‘See if These Things Are So’

“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.” Acts 17:10-14

Paul had been drastically redirected by a personal encounter with the Lord, pierced by His Word and transformed by its truth. So when he preached, it was to expose and explain that Word, not give his opinion. Knowing its ability to convict, instruct, correct, and transform, he took every opportunity to proclaim it clearly and let it work. And work it did- awakening belief, stirring spiritual hunger to examine and understand more, and even agitating opposition. For those who eagerly investigated, all the things Paul had taught were indeed so. (Acts 9:1-8; Romans 1:16-17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12)

We live in a day when, many places in the world, we are fed what to think, programmed by government or education or workplace how to think, or told that our own thinking is wrong or unacceptable. The freedom to search out the truth of Scriptures and embrace it as our own is increasingly restricted or vilified, although our Lord wonderfully promise that when we abide in His Word and know the truth, it will set us free. (John 8:31-32)

Because of societal pressures, or busyness, or laziness or apathy, we often select a spokesperson, elevate them to star status, and drink in everything they say as gospel. We are not practiced in ‘seeing if these things are so,’ instead abdicating to others to do the hard or dirty work of thought, research, and testing. But for the Christian, when we choose not to conform to the world, but instead to be transformed by mind-renewal, delving into and applying God’s word, He makes His way known. We take Him our questions and concerns, and learn through testing His good, pleasing, and perfect will. His Spirit guides us, directing thinking and convicting our consciences when we err. (John 16:13; Romans 12:2)

Would we be labeled as “noble” because we receive the Word with eagerness? It takes courage, discipline, and consistency to see if these things are so… are these part of our regular arsenal, and practice? What fresh belief has become integral to our daily habits as we implement truth in word and deed, even when it’s challenged?

“Sing them over again to me,
Wonderful words of life;
Let me more of their beauty see,
Wonderful words of life;
Words of life and beauty
Teach me faith and duty.
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life;
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life.” ~P.P. Bliss (1874)

Lord, may I uphold You as my Source of truth and understanding, and remain ever ready to test and approve Your Word and will.

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