10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.
How do you identify a good sermon when you hear one? Is it how the sermon makes you feel? Is it a good sermon if it sounds right to your ears? Is it a good sermon if people weep around you?
The people in the church at Berea had sermon analysis correct. They heard Paul teach, and they did not look into their own hearts to see if they liked his words. Instead, as should be done, the Bereans daily searched the Scriptures to see if Paul’s words were true. They looked at the inspired word of God to determine if they had been given truth. And the bottom line is, when the word of God was clearly and rightly presented to the people, the people heard a good sermon.
You know, there are lots of ways that people evaluate the truth of what they have heard. As a pastor, I’ve heard people say to me, “I just can’t believe that God would do things that way.” I’ve heard them say, “My granddad told me this was true, and so it must be.” I’ve heard people say, “I just know this to be true in my heart.” But none of those are solid ways to determine truth. If you are going to measure the truthfulness of a statement, you must examine it in light of the written word of God.
There are towns all over the Us and little churches too named Berea. Why? The people who understand the name understand that noble followers of God are people who hear the words of men of God, and carefully weigh them against the Scriptures. Are you a Berean? Do you examine your feelings, your beliefs, your desires, your doctrine against the Scripture to see if it is true? God says that holding your life up to the word of God, examining it, and making sure that it measures up is a noble thing, so it might be worth it to you to learn from the Bereans.