The early church apostles had to handle some tricky situations when false doctrine started creeping into the church, confusing many believers. One particular teaching, led by some religious Jewish believers in Christ, was that the Christian Gentiles had to be circumcised and keep to the law of Moses in order to be saved (Acts 10:5). The Mosaic Law consists of 613 rules and regulations. It’s no wonder the newly saved Gentiles were thrown into a state of confusion and distress. As much as they joyfully and gratefully accepted a life of devotion and surrender to Christ, this doctrine would put them into a place of bondage and disappointment, not freedom and faith! In Acts 15:19-20, James concluded that the once carnal Gentiles who came from pagan roots should rather be taught to, “… abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood.” than following a book-load of rules. The Apostles, led by the Holy Spirit, made it their mission to set the doctrine straight. They encouraged the Gentile believers, teaching that salvation is received by grace, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, not by self-mutilation or works. Paul and Silas traveled extensively with this same message to both the Jews and Gentiles that were worshipping together. Interestingly, many Jews, particularly in Thessalonica, found it difficult to accept this freedom in Christ because they weren’t diligent to search and examine the Scriptures. However, when Paul and Silas came to the Jews who believed in Jesus, in Berea, they found a very different story. Acts 17:11 says, “Now these [Jews] were better disposed and more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they were entirely ready and accepted and welcomed the message [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God] with inclination of mind and eagerness, searching and examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Because of their diligence to give themselves to studying the Word, the Berean believers were able to receive the full and accurate Gospel, and not be led astray by false teachings. 1 Timothy 4:1 warns that in the last days many will be deceived. If we choose to follow the example of the Berean believers, we will stay the course and not be led astray.