Summary: The true purpose of the speaking gifts is to edify the church. #3 of 5.
Title: A Closer Look At The Speaking Gifts
Series: Discovering God’s Special Gifts
Theme: The true purpose of the speaking gifts is to edify the church.
“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.”
We have been praying for church growth. We are a body, and as such, we have need of every necessary part for the body to be alive. A body simply cannot function properly without all of its parts. Indeed, some are more vital than others, yet all are needed. As we pray for church growth, we can now begin to specifically make requests of exactly what we need.
I. PROPHECY – PROCLAIMING THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD.
Definition: the ability to proclaim God’s Word truthfully.
“But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.”
A. The Main Function Of Prophecy Is Not Making Predictions.
1. The implication of making predictions was added some time in the Middle Ages.
2. Biblical prophets sometimes revealed God’s plan, and sometimes only restated what had already been revealed.
B. Prophecy Is The Spirit’s Special Enablement Of A Christian To Testify Of Christ. (Revelation 19:10)
1. The gift of prophecy empowers a believer to speak God’s truth in spite of personal, subjective faith.
2. Even when the truth is painful or unpopular, God’s Word must be proclaimed. (1 Thessalonians 5:20-22)
C. Prophecy Can Never Stray From The Written Word Of God. (2 Peter 1:19-21)
II. KNOWLEDGE – UNDERSTANDING THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD.
Definition: the capability of grasping the meaning of God’s revelation, which is mystery to the natural mind.
“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
There is a story about a teenage boy who was deeply interested in scientific subjects, especially astronomy. So his father bought him a very expensive telescope. Since the young fellow had studied the principles of optics, he found the instrument to be most intriguing. He took it apart, examined the lenses, and made detailed calculations on the distance of its point of focus. The youth became so absorbed in gaining a technical knowledge of the telescope itself that he never got around to looking at the stars. He knew a lot about that fine instrument, but he missed seeing the wonders of the heavens. As Christians, to know all the facts and figures contained in the Bible is not the end for which God has given us this Book. The purpose is that we might see God and know him. (http://bible.crosswalk.com/SermonHelps/AutoIllustrator)
A. Knowledge Allows A Believer To Gain Insight Into The Mysteries Of God’s Revelation. (Colossians 1:24-26)
B. God Has Gifted Certain Believers With A Special Ability To Study His Word.
1. They understand the meaning of the text and the context.
2. They grasp the idea of individual words and phrases.