May 19, 2005

 

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them; if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith

--Romans 12:6

 

The first motivational gift, or service gift, that prompts us and prepares us for spiritual ministry is prophecy. There are seven gifts all together in this passage, and every Christian has at least one of these gifts. You may have more than one of these gifts—a primary gift and then a secondary gift.

 

The gift of prophecy is the Spirit-given and the Spirit-empowered ability to proclaim the Word of God effectively and powerfully. Now by way of introduction, we should note that the gift of prophecy should be distinguished between the gift and the office of the prophet. The office of the prophet was foundational to the church through the apostles, disciples of Jesus, and the prophets. And the gift of prophecy remains a contemporary gift to enable Christians to declare the message of Jesus Christ.

 

Paul said, “Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy” (1 Corinthians 1:14). The gift of prophecy is mentioned 22 times in 1 Corinthians 12, 13, and 14, and it is obvious that the gift is to be emphasized within the local congregation. When Paul tells the Corinthians to seek to prophesy, he’s not suggesting that every member of the church ought to, but instead that the gift of prophecy should be given a primary place in the ministry of the church.

 

Prophecy is a primary, public, and powerful gift. And may I hasten to say that the gift of prophecy is not just for professionals or clergy. We are all ministers, and we should all take the truth from the Bible and speak it forth to the degree that lives are changed. The prophet should edify, exhort, and comfort God’s people (1 Corinthians 14:3).

 

There are also guidelines to using this gift. The gift of prophecy is open to the judgment of others; therefore it is our responsibility to discern between truth and falsities. It is also to be exercised in decency and order, allowing each messenger to speak, one-by-one. And finally, the prophet is to be subject to the Word of God, sharing truth from the Scriptures.

 

As believers, we are all called to evangelize and share the name of Jesus Christ, but there are those that God has gifted in a special way to take his message to the world. The marks of a prophet are insight into God’s Word, authority and conviction, persuasiveness and encouragement, discernment, personal brokenness, directness, and a sensitivity to sin. After all this, do you feel that God has given you this gift? If so, you have been blessed. Ask God to equip you to share His message through the power of prophecy.

 

THE GIFT OF PROPHECY IS THE SPIRIT-LED ABILITY TO

EFFECTIVELY SHARE THE POWERFUL MESSAGE OF JESUS CHRIST.