Responses to the Gospel (Thessalonians & Bereans)

Study Guide

As Paul and Silas continue to travel and preach the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles, they meet mixed responses. Some immediately receive the gospel with joy, others humbly measure it against the truth of Scripture, and still others reject it altogether. Like the Bereans, we must cultivate a posture of openness and willingness to receive what God has for us.
  1. Those who are aware of their unworthiness see the beauty of the gospel and are ready to receive it. Why is it important for us to become well acquainted with our own sinful nature? How does that awareness prepare us to receive God on his terms?

  2. The Jews who are jealous cannot let go of the status quo—they are too attached to their power and control. In what ways has the gospel disrupted the status quo in your life? Is there anything God is prompting you to let go of in order to receive something better?

  3. The Jews in Berea have both a posture of humility and a process of examining God’s Word to find truth. How can you take steps to grow in both of these areas? When you experience conflict, how difficult is it for you to consider that you may not be right?

Key Points
  • When Paul preaches the gospel in Thessalonica, those on the fringe of society—who are well acquainted with their unworthiness—see its beauty most clearly.

  • However, many of the Jews are jealous, desiring to maintain their power and influence. In the same way, if we are attached to the status quo, we will always have a difficult time following Jesus, for the gospel is inherently disruptive.

  • Rejection leads to opposition. You cannot be neutral towards Jesus—you must either accept or reject him.

  • The Jews in Berea have both a posture of humility and a process of examining God’s Word to find truth. We also must be capable of discerning Scripture and open to learning from others.

  • There is a kingdom of light and a kingdom of darkness, and they are in continuous, raging conflict.

  • Jesus was clear that as believers, we will endure trials, so we should not be surprised when we experience difficulty. There will be joy on the other side of suffering.

Other Scripture References

Scripture: Acts 17:1-15