Vol.XIX No.XI Pg.5
January 1983

Use Your Bible

Dan S. Shipley


I. Because They Kept Open Minds

A. "they received the word"

1. They listened, without prejudice and without gullibility 2. Without such hearing and learning, no coming to Christ, Jn. 6:45 3. Good listeners always complement the gospel, Matt. 13:14,15

B. They received the word "with all readiness of mind"

1. "readiness" (PROTHUMIA) indicates eagerness, willingness 2. Such a mind is absolutely vital to righteousness, 2 Cor. 8:12 3. Such is the honest and good heart of Lk. 8:15 4. Note: such a heart exists before knowing truth, Jn. 7:17

Ii. Because They Kept Open Bibles

A. "examining the scriptures" (i.e., Old Testament scriptures) 1. They recognized the scriptures as being authoritative 2. They recognized the need to "prove all things", 1 Thss. 5:21; to test the teaching by the Word. 3. They were not satisfied to take the word of the preacher

B. "whether these things were so" 1. They knew that any teaching that did not harmonize with scripture could not be so and, therefore, unworthy of acceptance 2. Their subsequent believing was based upon their accepting these things as being so (Rom. 10:17) 3. Such examining and testing still vital in our confused religious world of today ("Are these things so? Examine the scriptures!")

Iii. Because They Kept Open Schedules

A. They examined the scriptures "daily"

1. Open minds and open Bibles mean little where there is no time for their employment 2. In this way, men truly are "redeeming the time", Eph. 5:16 3. Similarly, the Pentecostians received and continued "steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine in a "day by day" involvement (Acts 2:41,46) 4. Daily involvement with the scriptures essential to growing in faith, knowledge, strength (1 Pet. 2:2)

B. The tragedy of schedules to busy for God and His Word! "No time for God? What fools we are, to clutter up Our lives with common things and leave without heart's gate The Lord of life and Life itself — our God.'" (Norman Trott)