Lesson 77

Berean Bible Students

The Bereans "received the message with great eagerness, studying the scriptures every day to see whether it was as they said."
Acts 17:11 (New English Bible)

The believers at Berea, in Macedonia, are famous among God’s people because of their diligence in searching the scriptures. They did not just take the word of Paul or Silas for the truth. They were a little class, but their faithfulness to God’s word caused them to be known as Berean Bible Students.

They gathered together as children of God, begotten by the Holy Spirit, to study the message of Jesus that was brought to them. The early church did not meet in splendid churches or temples, their elders and deacons did not wear rich robes of office. There was no showy display of any kind. They simply met together with those of "like, precious faith" (2 Peter 1:1) to study and prove the scriptures under the direction and care of Jesus, the only head of the church.

Bible students of today have the advantage of convenient, inexpensive Bibles of many translations and versions, as well as many other helpful books. These would include concordances, Bible dictionaries, scriptural comments, etc. And we have the ability to learn from them in our homes! For hundreds of years there were very few Bibles in the world, and most people could not read—even kings and queens! Today the majority of the people are educated and can read and write. And we can turn a light on when it is dark!

We are living in the days of Daniel 12:4 when "many shall run to and fro" and "knowledge shall be increased." This applies to our generation as it has to no other: trains, airplanes, space ships, books, radios, television, computers; and these on a scale never before dreamed of!

We can go to Bible studies, not just in our own homes, but in other places as well. Many can attend conventions of Bible students throughout the world. We are very blessed at this end of the age, but we must realize that there is a great responsibility because of these bounteous blessings.

Many people today deny that the Bible is the word of God, causing themselves and others to fall away from the faith taught in the Bible. It is time in God’s plan for a fuller, deeper understanding of his word than ever before. Let us be faithful to learn all we can, building up our characters in the most holy faith.

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