Weekly Devotional 5-11-20 Why Search the Scriptures?
The apostle Paul on his second missionary journey stopped at Thessalonica, and as Paul taught in the synagogue, many believed in Jesus for their salvation and became Christians. However, immediate Jewish hostile opposition arose against Paul, Silas, Timothy, and the young church. The opposition became so violent that Paul and Silas were sent away by those who had become Christians (Acts 17:1-10a). Being sent away, Paul and Silas came to Berea, and as was Paul’s practice, he went to the Jewish synagogue and presented Jesus to them (Acts 17:10b). From Acts 17:10b-12, we read: “10b When they (Paul and Silas) arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.
The Jews of Berea were fairer minded than the Jews of Thessalonica, and they searched the Old Testament Scriptures daily to see if what Paul taught was true. Finding it to be so, many believed and also many Gentiles (Greeks), both men and women, believed.
This begs the question, why did the Jews of Thessalonica oppose Paul’s teaching, but the Jews of Berea were willing to investigate whether what he taught was true or not? The answer is evident, the Jews of Thessalonica were closed-minded, but the Berean Jews were open-minded. The Thessalonian Jews would not search the Scriptures to see if what Paul taught was true, but the Berean Jews eagerly did.
Isn’t this the direction that persons of our day should take, should they not search the Scriptures? According to our text, the search of the Scriptures led many of the Berean Jews into a right relationship with Jesus Christ and to salvation. Scripture was that instrument of God that led many of the Berean Jews to Christ and redemption, and the Scriptures will lead many to Christ and salvation today. In his 2nd letter to Timothy, Paul wrote: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2nd Timothy 3:16). God’s purpose of Scripture is to point and lead a person to Jesus Christ; His gift to mankind for their salvation.
Two things are sure, if you are reading this, you are alive, and someday you will die, as all persons do. But what then? Do you just stop being, or do you go on? The writer of the Book of Hebrews was led to write: “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Interestingly though, the writer added “so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (9:28).
For and explanation of what the writer meant I direct you to two passages of Scripture: Romans 5:6-19 and John 3:14-21.
Romans 5:6-19: “6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned– 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.
17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
John 3:14-21; 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21:1-9) even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
Oh! The beauty of the Scriptures!
F/B – Stevelampman.com
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