[CF Devotionals] 2010-01-08 - Spas of the Scripture

Part 2

Acts 17:1-12

  1. Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
  2. And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
  3. Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
  4. And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
  5. But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
  6. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;
  7. Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.
  8. And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.
  9. And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.
  10. And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
  11. 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.
  12. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

In this passage we see people in two places.

  1. Thessalonica (v. 1-9) - Most of the Jews in Thessalonica refused to see the truths revealed in OT about the Christ. They refused to give up their ideas of God for God's ideas of God. Even tried to arrest those that spoke against what they thought the scriptures said. Then the Greeks there had no preconceived ideas of God or Christ. They believed whatever Paul told them. Luckily Paul spoke the truth.

  2. Berea (v. 10-12) - These were said to be more noble. They listened to what Paul said but only believed after searching the scriptures for themselves. They set an example that Christians of today need to follow. Thor Heyerdahl once said, "Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity."

Some men can complicate the simplest of truths and others may over simplify or misuse scripture to teach you what they believe. They will confuse you and trick you to deceive you.

Let me show you what I mean. A high school freshman won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair, April 26, 1997. He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to the alarmists practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our environment. In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical "dihydrogen monoxide." And for plenty of good reasons, since it can:

  • cause excessive sweating and vomiting
  • it is a major component in acid rain
  • it can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
  • accidental inhalation can kill you
  • it contributes to erosion
  • it decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes
  • it has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients

He asked 50 people if they supported a ban of the chemical dihydrogen monoxide. 43 said yes, six were undecided and only one knew it was WATER! The title of his prize-winning project was, "How Gullible Are We?" I think his conclusion is rather obvious. Most of these people he asked probably knew some science but only one understood it well.

Religion is another area where people have a tendency to be gullible. People are looking for answers and will accept any that seem true. Extreme examples found in David Koresh's followers or the Heaven's Gate cult. But it can happen to any of us at any time if we believe someone without checking out God's Word to see if what is being taught is the truth. Faith does not mean blindly accepting whatever anyone (even a preacher) says. We have are to have faith in God not in man.

John warns, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (I John 4:1). We are to use God's Word to discern between what is true and what is false.

We often listen to hear what others say the Bible says but we don't look to see what the Bible says. We are easy prey for people with an easy message. Many "Christian" groups allowed one or two traditions to enter then a few more traditions and now there traditions overshadow the scripture. A friend's church uses "the four pillars of Scripture, Reason, Tradition, and Experience" - He says they are all equal. Imagine that my reason and experience could over rule scripture. If I don't think the Bible makes sense to me I can change it as I see fit. We need to return to the word and return to God's truths; we need to get into the scriptures.

This holiday season seems to be a busy time for all so let's go to the SPAs and relax. Taking a few liberties with the words of Isaiah 40:31 Let's ".wait upon the LORD [in the SPAs of scripture and] .renew [our] strength." Then we can ".mount up with wings as eagles; .run, and not be weary; and . walk. [without fainting]" I want to use the word SPA as an acronym for three things to help us better understand God's word.

To be continued...

IHFHBOH
Adam

[email adam] adam@cfdevotionals.org
http://www.cfdevotionals.org

Note: this begins another series based on a message preached almost eight years ago (12/31/2001).

All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted