Nobility

Nobility

By Bill Vigue

“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.” (Act 17:10-12)

Paul’s visit to Berea was during his second missionary. I’m sure He, by the leading of the Holy Spirit suggested to Barnabas they “visit our brethren in every city we preached”. (Acts 15:36) The purpose was to see how the new converts were doing. This vision for “strengthening the brethren” (Acts 18:23) in follow up ministry is one of the more overlooked tasks of the Great Commission. It is also one of he most hated of the devil.

Immediately we see how Satan came to attack this plan by creating strife. Paul and Barnabas had a serious falling out over whom to take with them and thus what God had joined together in ministry the devil was able to divide. Even our best leaders can fall out of God’s plan because of Satan’s prodding and their yielding to their human nature.

Follow up ministry is important. For those like the Bereans who personally search the scriptures to see for them selves if what they are hearing about God is true; it is much easier to grow in Christ and not be taken advantage of. If you search the scriptures you will quickly see that follow up ministry toward the saints was a passion of the Apostle Paul. All of his epistles reflect his tremendous “care of all the churches” (2 Cor 11:23-28) along with his exhortations, instructions and directives of how necessary it is for all who believe to “watch and pray for all the saints”. (Eph 6:18)

Jesus frequently followed up on His ministry to His disciples like a shepherd does his flock. Even after His resurrection Jesus checked up on the doubting believers. He walked down the mountains of Jerusalem all the way to Emmaus (7 ½ miles) to investigate the faith of two disciples. He pointed out to them that they were “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets” had said concerning His death and resurrection. Then He “expounded unto them all the scriptures” and “their (spiritual) eyes were opened”. (Luke 24:25-31)

Later that day Jesus suddenly walked through a wall to appear before the gathered apostles and believers who were struggling with doubts about the reports of His resurrection. He returned to show Himself alive to them and to “open their understanding of the scriptures”. (Luke 24:36-45)

Even after that Jesus had to revisit and reinvestigate Peter and the others. They had returned to the Sea of Tiberias (Galilee) and their former livelihood, intent on feeding themselves and their families rather than caring for the brethern. There Jesus gently confronted them, Peter particularly since he was the greatest influencer. Three times Jesus reasoned with them asking who they loved more, Him of their own wants and needs. To love Him meant they would follow His instructions to “feed my sheep” and “feed my lambs”. (John 21:1-17) They got the message, returned to Jerusalem and became unmovable in caring for the brethren. (Acts 2:42-47; 4:1-34; 8:1)

On his second missionary journey Paul first returned to the villages of Derbe & Lystra where one young man stood out as having quickly developed in Christ. (Act 16:1-5) Paul took him on his mission to strengthen the brethren. Why had Timothy grown so fast? From a child he had been nurtured in the scriptures by his mother and grandmother. (2 Tim 1:1-5 & 3:15)

When Paul came to this new city Berea it was under great pressure. He had revisited many of the cities he originally established a church in but this time he was sent to Berea by the believers for his protection.

In Macedonia he and his team of labors had come under serious persecutions. Not only had they been slandered, both he and Silas had been whipped, beaten and put in prison. But they prayed and sang their way out of that crisis as God delivered supernatural help (Act 16:25-26) and a new church started right there in that prison. Then they returned to Thyatira, Lydia’s home church for the express purpose of encouraging “the brethren and comforted them”. (Acts 16:40)

When they finally came to Thessalonica where as his custom was, Paul “reasoned with them by the scriptures” some believed. But those who did not believe used “lewed fellows of the baser sort” to “set the city in an uproar and to assault the house of Jason” where Paul was staying. (Acts 17:1-5) Paul escaped to Berea and found a group of people who were not tossed to and fro by what others say but did their own research and passionately studied the scriptures. This was called an act of nobility.

The Bible explains that we who believe on Jesus have been made kings. The proverb says “it is the honor (splendor and glory) of kings to search out a matter.” (Pro 25:2) The Contemporary English Version translates this proverb, “rulers are praised for explaining mysteries”. The Concordant Literal Version states this proverb this way. It is “the glory of kings to investigate a matter.”

The result of the studious investigators in Berea was that many believed and a strong church was established. Not only did the poor folks hear the gospel and believe. Even the well to do came to the saving knowledge of Christ. “In Berea many believed, including honorable Greek women and men.” (Act 17:12)

I am convinced that if I can stir up your pure minds to labor and search the scriptures with a passion, and you in turn influence others to do the same, meaningful revival will break out where you “live and move and have your being”.

Any questions concerning the teaching please contact us at

MeatoftheWord@gmail.com

Or Pastor Bill Vigue at

BillyVigs@sbcglobal.net

Also we would appreciate getting to know you better

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Effecting your lives

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Published in: on March 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm  Comments Off on Nobility  
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