Noble Hearers



  1. We will not make the progress we desire without retaining and compounding the things we hear.
  2. Your teacher sees and plans the compounding effect, but it requires your diligent effort to hear.
  3. We cannot be content with the mere sound of preaching. We must take home the sense and duty.

The Great Example

  1. The Bereans were called noble by the Holy Ghost (Acts 17:11-12).
  2. They received the word with all readiness of mind – no scornful doubts.
  3. They searched the Scriptures daily (at synagogue library) proving Paul.
  4. As a result of this noble process, many of them believed the gospel.

Other Examples

  1. Ezra and Nehemiah had a great teaching service for Israel (Neh 8:1-12).
    1. They fervently gathered together in zeal and unity to hear (8:1-6).
    2. The reading and teaching convicted them deeply (8:9).
    3. They fervently celebrated the understanding they got (8:10-12).
  2. Cornelius is an excellent example of a noble hearer (Acts 10:33).
    1. When a teacher was offered, he immediately sought him out.
    2. He commends the teacher for a job well done in getting there.
    3. We are all here – he had gathered his family and friends (24-27).
    4. We are before God – he understood the solemnity of the situation.
    5. We want to hear all things – he was not looking to stroke his ears.
    6. We want God’s commandments – he was not interested in Peter.
  3. Josiah was greatly convicted at hearing God’s word (II Chron 34:19-33).
  4. The Thessalonians received Paul’s word as the word of God (I Thes 2:13).
  5. Mary was not worried about the distracting details of life (Luke 10:38-42).
  6. On the Day of Pentecost they gladly received Peter’s word (Acts 2:41).

How Not to Hear

  1. Criticize the delivery. No lesson is perfect, and some are more imperfect.
  2. Criticize the messenger. No speaker is perfect, and some very imperfect.
  3. Make a man an offender for a mere word or mistake (Isaiah 29:20-21).
  4. Not as a scorner: ridicules, condemns, criticizes, contemptuous (Pr 9:7-8).
  5. Apply it to someone else instead of applying it to yourself (Matt 7:3-5).
  6. Forget it is from the LORD and assume it’s the pastor’s personal agenda.
  7. Excuse yourself as being above or beyond a particular subject.
  8. Think about something else by not preparing and focusing your mind.
  9. Sleep. Some have fallen three stories, but we have many witty remedies.
  10. Come unprepared without either long term or short term preparation.
  11. Worry about the length. I will not kill you by being long (Acts 20:7-12).
  12. The time is here when they will not endure sound doctrine (II Tim 4:3-4).
  13. Ahab – I don’t like bad news; thus dictating the terms of hearing.
  14. With idols or stumblingblocks of iniquity in your heart (Ezek 14:1-11).
  15. Stubbornness and rebellion are as witchcraft and idolatry (I Sa 15:22-23).

How to Be a Noble Hearer

  1. As a wise man who is never content with his wisdom (Proverbs 9:8-9).
  2. Consider how you hear in light of the various responses (Luke 8:18).
    1. The parable of the sower describes four kinds of ground.
    2. Law of Hearing: good hearers learn more – bad hearers lose all.
  3. Strong speeches, exhortations, and rebukes are Godly (Titus 2:15).
  4. Wholesome words are the words of the LORD Jesus Christ teaching the one apostolic doctrine which is according to godliness (I Timothy 6:3).
  5. Apply the message to yourself and don’t forget it later (James 1:21-25).
  6. Ask God to open your heart to hear his word (Acts 16:14; Psalm 119:18).
  7. There is no room for contentious thoughts, words, or deeds (I Cor 11:16).
  8. Prepare: sleep, Bible, holy, Spirit, prayer, anticipate, participate, focus.
  9. Let conviction bring repentance – even if it is later (Matthew 21:28-32).
  10. Desire the sincere milk of the word in order to grow (I Peter 2:1-3).
  11. Don’t let the things you hear slip (Heb 2:1-4). Review, meditate, study.
  12. True spirituality submits to preaching rather than corrects it (I Cor 14:37).
  13. Bible preaching is your life (Deut 32:44-47) and wisdom (Deut 4:1-9).
  14. The More Sure Word is something we should heed well (II Peter 1:16-21).
  15. Your relationship with God depends on how you hear (I John 4:1-6).
  16. Scripture can make the man of God perfect – so listen (II Tim 3:16-17).
  17. Prove all things; hold fast things you hear which are good (I Thess 5:21).
  18. Obedience brings knowledge, understanding, and confirmation (Jn 7:17).
  19. Be more ready to hear and listen than to talk and debate (Ecclesiastes 5:1).
  20. Wisdom cries for those who want her free offers (Proverbs 8:33-36).
  21. Those with understanding and wisdom want more (Proverbs 1:5; 15:14).
  22. Confess your sins in order to prepare ready ears and heart (James 1:21).
  23. Humbly submit yourself to God and His will for your life (Jas 1:21; 4:6).
  24. Pray and ask God for wisdom and understanding (Pro 2:3; Psalm 119:18).
  25. Trust God’s Providence completely for the text and message selected.
  26. Use it in daily application to develop your understanding (Hebrews 5:14).
  27. Immediately submit, repent, and convert when convicted during hearing.
  28. Talk about it with others to reinforce your comprehension and theirs.
  29. Walk in the Spirit – the Spirit of illumination (Eph 1:17-18).
  30. Preaching is teaching – proper hearing requires concentration and analysis.
  31. Jesus Christ personally prepared your pastor for this sermon for you today.
  32. Prepare as for a solemn assembly with the proper attitude and reverence.
  33. Use outlines, tapes, or both to review and remember what you have heard.
  34. Open mind. “Lord, show me and teach me that I might please you more.”