Spiritual Gifts, pt. 2
The Gift of Prophecy
The Bible says God imparted to you spiritual gifts for service at the moment of salvation…and exercising that gift is your job from then on…it’s your God-ordained function to fulfil!
It’s impossible to be totally dedicated and not be busy serving the Lord. The outflow of worship is service/devotion…duty. You CAN have a ministry and not be committed, but not vice-versa.
We’re laying some ground-work before looking at the gifts one-by-one.
An important character quality to have in your life before you focus on your gift is…humility…which will keep us from magnifying, minimizing, misplacing our gifts.
Another quality that we need is unity…balanced w/ diversity.
How can we have both? Because we’re one body, but different parts…one body, but we all have different gifts, but come together to use them in one motion.
v. 4-6a unity and diversity!
We all have different gifts, but are all pulling in the same direction. Like a choir, you may have up to 6 different parts, but it all comes together to form one sound! (Because they have a leader and follow him!)
3 qualities to have up front: humility, unity, diversity.
One more word of introduction: there are 3 categories of spiritual gifts, and only 2 of them are listed in Rom. 12…
Sign gifts, speaking gifts, serving gifts
The sign gifts are not listed here. You can find those in I Cor. 12. (tongues, miracles, healing)
In Rom. 12 we see 7 of the 9 spiritual gifts, all of which are speaking gifts or serving gifts.
2 other passages in the NT list spiritual gifts, with no mention of the sign gifts, which had ceased by the time of their writing. Those are found in Eph. 4 and I Pet. 4.
Still in existence today are the speaking gifts, and the serving gifts. With that word of introduction, let’s look at one of those…don’t worry, this is a sermon with a big front porch and a small house.
The first in the list is the Gift of Prophecy—the ability to declare truth boldly.
It’s not predicting the future…foretelling. This is forthtelling! Declaring forth things which have already been revealed. Paul said in I Cor. That he’d rather you speak one word of prophecy, or preaching, than 10k words in an unknown tongue. (why major on sign gifts when God didn’t?)
The Gift of Prophecy—the ability to declare truth boldly…on God’s behalf. A person with this gift is one of God’s spokesmen.
This person has the ability to instruct, admonish, warn, rebuke, correct, challenge, comfort, encourage others, by proclaiming truth.
It has to do more w/ the delivery of the message than the content of it. More urgency than outline!
Face it, there’s some people who when they speak, you just want to hear what they have to say. They seem to say it w/ AUTHORITY!
Although any Pastor MUST have a measure of this gift in order to be called, it is certainly not limited to pastors. Some of you will test out to have this gift, though not in the ministry full-time.
Ill.—James Dobson, when he speaks on family, speaks w/ authority…he has the gift of prophecy on his life…though not a preacher.
3 characteristics of one w/ the gift of Prophecy:
So, ladies can have this gift! Seriously! Though Biblically not qualified for the office of Pastor, many women have this gift, and preach to their husbands all the time!
Ill.—Phyllis Schaffley or Joyce Meyers—heard them on the radio? They command your attention. Each talks about current events, politics, she’s an attorney, and a believer! Each speaks with authority. She’s in touch w/ God, she knows the Word of God, and she is able to interpret political events thru the filter of God’s Word…she has the gift of prophecy.
9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. (He just quit the ministry, like many preachers do each Monday) But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
He says, I tried to hold it in, but I couldn’t. I have to preach, I have to declare God’s Word!
We’ve seen so many young men answer the call to preach. They would come to me and they wanted advice…but I’d say, if you can do anything else, do it. But if you can’t help it, that’s God’s call.
The prophet has a deep need that goes all the way to the bones, to declare God’s truth boldly, verbally!
It’s time to get back to old-time preaching, that steps on your toes, and hits you right between the eyes. It’s what the world needs to hear, whether they want to or not!
If you come hear me preach and don’t feel like I’ve been reading your mail, then I’m not doing my job. God has gifted me that way, and I’m just twisted enough to enjoy it!
Ill.—boy came home from church, dad asked, what’d he preach on today? Boy replied, he didn’t say! (prob. lacking the gift of prophecy)
This person doesn’t beat around the bush…he has a tendency to just put it out there…here’s the truth!
3 Liabilities for the prophet: (weaknesses)
There is a challenge for the prophet…to make his speech w/ grace, seasoned w/ salt…to speak the truth…in love!
I’ve had to learn, and still learning, oftentimes the hard way, that it’s not what I say as much as how I say it! [mercy is the balance!]
The prophet needs to remember that while you shouldn’t budge an inch on your convictions, that w/ preferences, you’ve got to learn to be gracious, flexible, patient, and accepting.
A lot of preachers take their preferences, and elevate them to the point where they won’t fellowship w/ you if you aren’t just like them!
Ill.—Missionary Ron Peedin (white shirt/facial hair)
Are you a prophet? Remember, when it comes to preferences, good people can disagree, and still fellowship, still be friends…diversity and unity co-exist peacefully when we don’t allow ourselves to worship little idols we hold onto!
Have you ever avoided someone because you know if you talk to them about a matter you’re gonna get a sermon in return? [was it me?!]
The prophet needs to be a real person, and just love people, be personable, learn to make small talk, even if you’re not saving the world at that moment! Prophet: realize you’re sometimes perceived like a know-it-all! Have the balance to overcome that!
All 9 spiritual gifts are like a river: If you keep your gift in bounds, in can be a great blessing. A river w/in its banks can be used for transportation, to create energy, for recreation, to supply nourishment and refreshment to the land…but if it gets out of its banks the result is destruction and disaster and misery.
That’s why we study the strength and the liability of each gift, so you can understand how you’re perceived, and so you can pay attention to keeping your gift in bounds!
Come next week. and hear the opposite gift…mercy
Say to the Lord, hey coach, put me in, what position do you want me to play!
Important to be here for each message, not only for your gifts, but others…it will help you understand everyone else, and appreciate their strengths and be more patient w/ their liabilities.
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