Test Everything: Why We Should All Be Bereans

Yesterday I heard a sermon that got me thinking about being a Berean. I wasn’t going to raise the point, but I wanted to share a word about discernment.

The scripture the Pastor was teaching on was taken from Luke 19. It was of course the well-known Zacchaeus story.

Now for anyone who has read it, you will be familiar with the short tax collector who climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus, and by the end of the passage, Christ came home with Zacchaeus and he repented of his former ways.

So why do I bring this up?

Well, the Pastor shared this scripture and summarised that the story was about business Menander women making themselves standout in order to gain more customers. He continued to use the story as a template for how to reach more customers and grow your business.

After leaving the service, I thought about all I had heard and noted a few points I wanted to share:

1. Context is KEY

It was so sad that the actual scripture was never looked at during the service, only alluded to. I’m sure if it was, even those reading in the congregation would put two and two together. We must be careful not to take the bible our of context – eyebrows have to be raised when a sermon consists of paraphrased bible verses but that’s another conversation…

2. Personal Study is CRUCIAL

We need to go back to the Word ourselves and continue to be Bereans and critically analyse everything we are taught, be it from the pulpit, at our meetings or even on this very website. Nothing and no one is about scrutiny.

3. Let No Man Deceive You.

Sometimes when we hear a Pastor introduced, we get comfortable. We listen to their credentials, the number of books they’ve written, and we sink comfortably into our seats. One thing I have learnt is that a man’s introduction is not an indication of his dedication to the undiluted scriptures.

It goes so much deeper than the message I heard on Sunday, but I would respectfully submit that we need to test everything. Whether that is your Pastor, your favourite preacher on YouTube, or a friend. A safe name does not guarantee safe hands. We need to run what we are taught past the Word.
May God help us to (respectfully) not be respecters of persons or personage, and may He give us the spirit of discernment to see things as He does IJN Amen.

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