How To Attain Christian Nobility
As an American, I don’t know a lot about nobility, royalty or aristocracy. Apparently people are born into it: a duke, earl, count, marquis, baroness, upper caste, etc. Seems if you’re born a commoner, you’re out for life—there is no hope for higher status. But I do know that it’s possible to attain Christian nobility no matter what your birth status!
CC Image courtesy of Polybert49 on Flickr
What a fantastic truth! If you were born a commoner, a Dalit, rejected, insignificant, unwanted, despised and rejected, you can still become Christian nobility!
How? This Bible verse tells us: “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (Acts 17:11 NIV)
OK, I’m a little tongue in cheek about believers becoming “Christian nobility.” It’s not nobility in the sense that you get a castle, servants and so on.
But what this verse describes is a better kind of nobility—it’s nobility in God’s eyes!
Aristocracy only lasts for a lifetime, but Christian nobility lasts for eternity!
This verse tells us 2 ways to attain this kind of Christian nobility:
01. Receive God’s message with eagerness.
It says, “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness….” (Acts 17:11a NIV)
These Jews in the city of Berea were receiving the message of Christ for the first time. And they were eager to receive it.
But it doesn’t matter if we’ve heard God’s Word proclaimed a million times, we are Christian nobility when we receive it eagerly!
How do you receive God’s Word? Are you…
Or alternatively, are you…
grumpy? “Do I have to sit through another boring sermon?"
critical? “He just told that same story last month.”
skeptical? “I think this guy is just out to line his pockets.”
I’m not pointing any fingers. God knows there have been times when I have been less than eager to receive His Word.
And I’m not saying all preachers are perfect and we swallow everything they say—see point 2 below.
I’m just saying that Christian nobility can’t wait to see what God will reveal through His Word each day.
Christian nobility means being eager to hear God’s instruction:
“For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 NKJV)
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4 NKJV)
02. Examine the Scriptures to see if what is being said is true, no matter who is teaching.
Notice this verse says that as Paul was preaching they “…examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (Acts 17:11 NIV)
This is the second trait that was “of more noble character” and made the Bereans Christian nobility.
Please remember that they were examining the teachings of the great Apostle Paul—one of the most exceptional Christians of all time. He eventually, under inspiration of the Spirit, wrote a major portion of the books of the New Testament Scriptures.
Yet they are called “noble” because they examined the Old Testament Scriptures to see if what Paul said was true.
You might wonder how they could be honored for questioning the teaching of this incredible man. The answer is that Paul wasn’t a perfect person, just like any other teacher of God’s Word. Paul confessed repeatedly to struggling to be all that he should be. He even claimed to be the “chief of sinners.”
No matter who is preaching, they are flawed and can misinterpret the Bible. Of course this includes my own articles, podcasts and teaching.
So how do we know that what is being taught is true? We become Christian nobility—we search the Scriptures to see if what is being taught is true.
Too many believers don’t examine the Bible for themselves. They determine Truth by insufficient means. They believe…
whatever their church teaches.
whatever is the current consensus among Christians.
whatever seems to be working.whatever some great leader says or teaches.
These approaches can lead to great disasters:
In Nazi Germany most churches followed Hitler’s evil leadership.There have been horrible scandals in the papacy.
The followers of Jim Jones drank the Koolaid.
Today some churches want to approve of “gay marriage” although it is clearly against biblical teaching.
To be Christian nobility we must search the Scriptures to see if what is being taught, practiced or promoted is biblical.
This is not just for some Christians; this is true for ALL Christians.
Some will object:
“But I don’t have a theological education.” ANSWER: Theological education has misguided many away from biblical Truth. You might be better off without it. Just follow what the Bible clearly states.
“But I’m a new believer.” ANSWER: The Bereans were just hearing the Gospel, yet they were noble to examine the Scriptures to see if these things were true.
“But I don’t want to be rebellious.” ANSWER: If a teacher is teaching something contrary to the Bible, that teacher is rebellious towards God. You are not rebellious, HE IS!
“But I don’t have the time to search the Scriptures.” ANSWER: Most Christians seem to have plenty of time to watch TV. Take 30 to 60 minutes a day from your TV time and search God’s Word!
Some time back a question of biblical policy came up in a ministry I was working with. One of the leaders said he determined his position on the matter according to what was working well in another country. There was no biblical study, just an attitude that if it works, let’s do it. My respect for that leader diminished. In addition, I later learned that what seemed to be working well elsewhere wasn’t actually working that well!
Other leaders have studied the issue and can explain their position biblically. Even though I might disagree with their conclusion, I respect their conclusion. Why? Because they were noble enough to study the Scripture.
Every believer must attain Christian nobility by studying God’s Word. Will you?
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)
How do we know we can trust the Bible? To answer that question please check out these resources on my site:
Podcast: Where do dinosaurs fit in the Bible?