We are studying the spiritual gifts, the theme of this series is “Gifts of The Holy Spirit.”
It is important to remember that a positive response on our part as believers to the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential if we are to truly be God’s people.
Today we are discussing The Gift of Prophecy.
1 Corinthians 12:28 (ESV)
28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues
1 Corinthians 14 (ESV)
The gift of prophecy is the subject of todays message.
The person who is called to preach is a prophet endowed by God with the ability to speak forth God’s Word.
The noun prophet is found 144 times in the New Testament, 37 in Matthew, 29 in Luke, 30 in Acts, 14 in John, 6 in Mark, and 10 in Paul’s writings.
The remainder of the 144 times are found scattered throughout the rest of the New Testament.
The verb prophesy is found 28 times in the New Testament.
Obviously, a subject found so many times in the New Testament is something important we need to consider.
- Let’s first consider the basic meaning, prominence, and contemporary thought about the term prophecy.
A. Two general applications of the word prophecy exist.
Applied to time, it may mean foretelling, but it doesn’t exclusively mean this.
The prefix of the word can mean “advance” or “before”.
But the word does not necessarily mean telling what will happen in the future.
A much more common application is the idea of forth telling, or making known.
When a person prophesies, he or she is interpreting God’s will and proclaiming God’s revelation.
B. Paul gave preference to prophecy over all other gifts of grace.
1 Corinthians 14:1 (ESV)
Prophecy and Tongues
14 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.
As a leader in the church, a prophet needs support from the members.
C. The contemporary concept of the word prophecy would best be described as preaching, or Spirit empowered proclamation.
A preacher is an instrument of God who is impelled by the Holy Spirit, able to transform the Holy Spirit’s impulse into understandable language.
Prophecy has com to mean the proclamation of the written Word of God in wisdom and power.
2. Secondly let’s consider the marks of a true prophet and the warnings of a false prophet.
A. The Bible provides several marks of a true prophet.
- First Corinthians 14:3 gives three indicators
- A true prophet speaks to edify the church, specifically, to increase peoples knowledge of Christian truth and to increase their ability to live effective Christian lives.
b. A true prophet speaks to effect spiritual progress.
Every prophet is to encourage others and show them a way out of sin and depression.
c. A true prophet speaks to provide comfort.
Just as people need encouragement to leave their lives of sin behind, they also need comfort.
This world is characterised by hurt and pain.
A true prophet brings a message of hope and comfort.
2. First Corinthians 14:14-25 gives us some additional indicators.
- A true prophet is used to convict people of their sin.
God uses the gift of prophecy to make people realise that they are sinners who need forgiveness.
b. A true prophet leads in worship.
Worship should never be selfish.
It is not according to personal preference, but for the good of all.
Worship must be intelligible to those who listen.
B. The Bible gives some signs of a false prophet.
False prophets are God’s enemies, and their prophecy is self imposed.
They are arrogant, deceitful, and shameless liars.
Matthew 24:24 (ESV)
24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Mark 13:22 (ESV)
22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
1 John 4:1 (ESV)
Test the Spirits
4 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
A prophet of God is called by God and gifted by the Holy Spirit to carry out an awesome responsibility.
And those who hear a true prophet have the important responsibility of listening and doing.
Until next time
Stay in the Blessings
I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.
When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.
Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!
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