[Biblemat] A) ON BEING NOBLE-MINDED
J5827Sasser at wmconnect.com
J5827Sasser at wmconnect.com
Thu Nov 20 05:10:42 CST 2008
Brethren and Friends, Jim Sasser here. A very good Thursday morn-
ing to each and everyone. May God bless you and yours. Here is an
article from my ancient files:
ON BEING NOBLE-MINDED
It is affirmed of the Jews in Berea that they "were more noble
minded than those in Thessalonica, in that tehy received the Word with all
readiness of mind, and searched the Scripture daily, whether those things were
so." (Acts 17:11). Admit it or not, the fact is that the proclamation of truth
can be rendered ine-
ffective by improper disposition of heart on the part of one's aud-
itors to ward the Word preached. Since success in nay endeav-
or is dependent to a great extent upon one's attitude toward that
endeavor, it follows that there is nothing, either in man's quest
for truth or his efforts to serve Jehovah, more important than the
development and cultivation of proper attitudes toward God, His
Word, and the preaching of the same.
In the passage before us Luke speaks of a nobility of heart
(literally, noble-minded). While the Jews in Thessalonica were
void of such nobility, those in Berea were commended for enjoy-
ing the possession of it. But of what did this nobility consist?
The text provides the answer to our question.
Freedom From Prejudice: -- The first characteristic of this noble-
mindedness which is mentioned is freedom from prejudice!
These men received that which was taught "with all readiness of
mind." The New American Standard Version translates the pass-
age: "Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessa-
lonica, for they received the Word with great eagerness, examin-
ing the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so."
Each of us needs a readiness of mind to understand and an eag-
erness of heart to receive the truth. This should be the disposit-
ion of every individual -- but it isn't! Many, especially in religious
matters, suffer from the dreaded disease of prejudice.
Webster defines the term under consideration as "preconcei-
ved judgment or opinion." Also, "an opinion...adverse to any-
thing without grounds..." Derived as it is from the Latin words
prae (before) and judicium (judgment), prejudice may be adequat-
ely defined as being a judgment rendered either (1) before con-
sideration of the facts or (2) in disregard to known facts. It is the
lazy and/or dishonest man's method of reaching a conclusion.
A factor in spiritual retardation, so long as it dwells within the
hearts of men it will stand firmly as a mental barrier to learning,
understanding, development, and unity. With hearts full of prej-
udice it is no wonder that many hearers refuse to accept the truth which is
revealed in the pages of God's Book as that truth
as proclaimed by faithful preachers of today. Like the Thessalo-
nians of old, they refuse to grant either time or consideration to
anything with which they are not already in agreement. To exam-
ine candidly another's arguments, to discuss calmly with others
their differences or to make needed changes in their own hearts
and lives they will not do. Though the power of God unto salvat-
ion (Rom. 1:16), the gospel will not affect their salvation because
their prejudice will not allow it to do so. Yes, noble-mindedness
demands freedom from prejudice!
Freedom From Gullibility: -- The second characteristic of this
noble-mindedness is freedom from gullibility! A gullible man is
one who is easily duped. He is the individual who accepts as
truth that which is taught -- without personal investigation. Now,
while the Bereans were not prejudiced (they listened with an open mind),
neither were they willing to accept what was taught
without personal investigation (they studied their Bibles). I must
emphasize again that in order to possess nobility of heart man
must be free from both prejudice and gullibility. While the prejud-
iced man boasts of his "freedom from gullibility," the gullible one delights
in his "open-mindedness." But it is ust as ignoble
and soul-condemning (because of their consequences) to be
gullible as it is to be prejudiced and vice versa.
No teacher has the right to teach anything in religion by his
own authority! If what is taught is not authorized by the Lord in
the New Testament, it is not even an item in the religion of the
Master and must be rejected. Never has God permitted man to
devise his own religion (with God's approval). He doesn't today!
And, I repeat, no instructor has the right to teach anything that is
not authorized by God in His Word (Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Jno. 9-11).
Furthermore, we must never attempt to hinder one's quest
for truth, nor deny any man the right to question the truthfulness
of any of our beliefs and practices. Beware the religious leader
who fears and/or refuses to permit investigation of his doctrine!
Make a personal investigation. Do not be gullible! Do not be
duped into embracing error! The disastrous consequences of
such are eternal. Be a Berean! ------ Roger M. Hendricks in The
Graphic Evangelist, Vol. 21, No. 8, April 19, 1981.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Biblemat