June 5, 2011

Church, be diligent regarding the sermons you hear today

Our Sunday School class is taking a journey through the Book of Acts and I've been teaching this class since chapter 13.  Each week has been a slow walk through the text as it is exposited (explained) for greater understanding with regard to its meaning and discovering its application to our lives.

This morning we're going to cover Acts 17:5-13 and verses 10-12 are as important as verses 2-3, regarding the exposition Paul gave to those in the synagogue, in Thessalonica and Berea, where he explained and demonstrated that the Jesus whom he preached to them, is the Christ. (v. 3)

The following four points from Albert Barnes' Commentary are simple, yet helpful points to follow regarding the importance of ensuring that the sermon that is spoken in church is in accord with the doctrine of Scripture.

May these be helpful to you, as you become a diligent servant of the Word of God, searching daily to see that the sermon is in accord with the Word of God.

May God be exalted greatly as His word is faithfully preached and expounded for the church today.

From Albert Barnes' Commentary on the Bible regarding Acts 17:11 - 
Whether the doctrines stated by Paul and Silas were in accordance with the Scriptures. The Old Testament they received as the standard of truth, and whatever could be shown to be in accordance with that, they received. On this verse we may remark:
  1. That it is proof of true nobleness and liberality of mind to be willing to examine the proofs of the truth of religion. What the friends of Christianity have had most cause to lament and regret is, that so many are unwilling to examine its claims; that they spurn it as unworthy of serious thought, and condemn it without hearing.
  2. The Scriptures should be examined daily. If we wish to arrive at the truth, they should be the object of constant study. That man has very little reason to expect that he will grow in knowledge and grace who does not peruse, with candor and with prayer, a portion of the Bible every day.
  3. The constant searching of the Scriptures is the best way to keep the mind from error. He who does not do it daily may expect to “be carried about with every wind of doctrine,” and to have no settled opinions.
  4. The preaching of ministers should be examined by the Scriptures. Their doctrines are of no value unless they accord with the Bible. Every preacher should expect his doctrines to be examined in this way, and to be rejected if they are not in accordance with the Word of God. The church, in proportion to its increase in purity and knowledge, will feel this more and more; and it is an indication of advance in piety when people are increasingly disposed to examine everything by the Bible. How immensely important, then, is it that the young should be trained up to diligent habits of searching the Word of God. And how momentous is the obligation of parents, and of Sunday school teachers, to inculcate just views of the interpretation of the Bible, and to form the habits of the rising generation, so that they shall be disposed and enabled to examine every doctrine by the sacred oracles. The purity of the church depends on the extension of the spirit of the noble-minded Bereans, and that spirit is to be extended in a very considerable degree by the instrumentality of Sunday schools.
Colored italics, my emphasis.

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