This past Sunday we had two individuals come forward and share prophetic words with the church. It led to a powerful time of ministry with dozens of people responding. However, I know this is a newer experience for some, so I thought an explanation of the theology of prophecy might be helpful. Below is an excerpt of an article written by John Piper.
Theses regarding NT Prophecy
- It is still valid and useful for the church today. This is the clear implication of 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 and Acts 2:17-18.
- It is a Spirit-prompted, Spirit-sustained, utterance that is rooted in a true revelation (1 Corinthians 14:30), but is fallible because the prophet’s perception of the revelation, and thinking about the revelation, and report of the revelation are all fallible. It is thus similar to the gift of teaching which is Spirit-prompted, Spirit sustained, rooted in an infallible revelation (the Bible), and yet is fallible but very useful to the church.
- It does not have an authority that is on a par with Scripture, for Scripture is verbally inspired, not just Spirit-prompted and Spirit-sustained. The very words of the biblical writers are the words of God (1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16). This is not true of the words that come from the “gift of prophecy.”
- The New Testament gift of prophecy is a “third category” of prophetic utterance between the categories of 1) verbally inspired, intrinsically authoritative, infallible speech spoken by the likes of Moses, Jesus and the apostles; and 2) the speech of false prophets spoken presumptuously, without inspiration and liable to condemnation (Deuteronomy 18:20). Those two categories (absolutely infallible vs. false) do not exhaust all the biblical teaching on prophecy.
Prophecy in this “third category” (the New Testament gift of prophecy) is a regulated1 message or report in human words2 usually made to the gathered believers3 based on a spontaneous, personal revelation from the Holy Spirit4for the purpose of edification, encouragement, consolation, conviction or guidance5 but not necessarily free from a mixture of human error, and thus needing assessment6 on the basis of the apostolic (Biblical) teaching7 and mature spiritual wisdom.8
- Recognize God’s complete sovereignty in giving gifts freely to whomever he wills (1 Corinthians 12:11; Hebrews 2:4).
- Recognize that not all will become prophets (1 Corinthians 12:29).
- Desire earnestly this gift (1 Corinthians 14:1,5,39). Pray for it (1 Corinthians 14:13).
- Be grateful for the gifts you do have; use them to the full; rejoice that others are different from you; and avoid all jealousy (1 Corinthians 12:14-29).
- Make love your aim in all things; realize that love is the greatest miracle and the surest sign of God’s blessing; grow more and more toward solid, stable biblical maturity (1 Corinthians 14:1,12,26,37; 2:14).
- Muster the courage to speak out what you believe (with more or less confidence) may be given to you from the Lord in gatherings designed for this less-structured expression (1 Corinthians 14:26).
- Have humble expectations that the prophecy will not be taken as a word of Scripture but as a Spirit-prompted human word to be weighed by Scripture, and by mature spiritual wisdom. For a prophecy to be accepted as valid it should find an echo in the hearts of spiritually mature people. It should be confirmed by biblically saturated insight. And it should find a resonance in the hearts and minds of those who have the mind of Christ and are ruled by his peace. (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21; Colossians 1:9; 3:15; Ephesians 5:15-17; Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 1:9-10).
Here are the two prophetic words that were given on Sunday. I hope they encourage you.
There may be some here who are fighting their weakness and you may be so drained by it . The Lord would want you to stop resisting this thorn and start relying on His grace and power to strengthen you. God wants you to experience His strength and Grace
Do you not know have you not heard the Lord is the Everlasting God the creator of the ends of the Earth He will not grow tired or weary and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength they will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40 28-31
As we heard about renovating and building walls, I had a sense that someone here had an area of their heart that they are scared to address. Almost as if there was a soffet in the corner of a room that you are afraid to address. It seems out of the way and like it’s not affecting anyone, but you know there is weakness there. That there’s damage that’s hidden. You know you need to demolition it, but you’re not sure what will be exposed, and more importantly you’re concerned that you will find that there is damage beyond repair. You’re afraid not only of the pain of exposing it, but the damage it will bring for others around you. Oh friend, I believe God is calling you to bring a sledgehammer to that area and expose it to the light so that he can do the renovations.
His word says.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.- 1 John 1:7-9
Confess your sin. Expose it to the light and God will be faithful to restore you to Christ and that there will be more beauty in that room than you ever imagined possible.
I’m very excited about what God is doing in our church during this season. If you missed the first sermon of this new mini series, you should check it out here.
I love you Christ Church!