Summary: A balanced look at the gifts and use of prophecy and tongues.



You know- this (love ) really is the most important thing

- many love the 1 Cor 13 bit- as a poem

- as a kind of ¡¥add on¡¦, ¡¥balancer¡¦

But it¡¦s not

- this is SCRIPTURE!

- and it really IS true- you can have all the gifts available and be the pumping, happening, church or individual

o but you¡¦re wasting your time if you haven¡¦t got love. Really

o The gifts will either go to your head

„X as an individual

„X or as a church

That¡¦s my experience after 15 years of making many mistakes in these areas as a Pastor

- I¡¦ve seen countless individuals, pastors, congregations hurt and torn to bits by

o The restlessness to have the ¡¥latest¡¦. Trend or ¡¥gift¡¦

o The power without the love. 2 rails for the train

Basically because people put the Gifts of the Spirit above the gift of love

- Could give you so many examples! I meet them weekly

o But you don¡¦t need examples, do you?!

o ¡§You¡¦re not in step with the Spirit (ie trend!) therefore¡K.!¡¨

But this book says:

PHP 2:1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Follow the way of love, Paul says

But there can be an equal error¡K extreme¡K in this direction, as well

- it¡¦s a shameful cop-out, really

- = ¡§we have the greatest gift, love, so we don¡¦t really need this other immature stuff¡¨

Sounds a bit proud, to me. A bit ¡¥above what God says¡¦


This passage says we are to eagerly desire ¡¥spiritual gifts¡¦

- again, it¡¦s not literally ¡¥spiritual gifts¡¦- it¡¦s that ¡¥pneumatikon¡¦ word

Nope- we are to eagerly desire:

- the dynamic of the Spirit. Dynamism.

- Spiritual things

- To be people of the Spirit, w ho move in the power and things of the Spirit

It¡¦s not ¡¥either/or¡¦, it¡¦s ¡¥both/and¡¦

So-let me ask you. Do eagerly desire the Lord to be spiritually and dynamically present? Here and in your life?

- or do you want an undynamic, unspirtual faith, church, pathway?

o What¡¦s the point of that, then?!

- And be aware- Paul comes down on it v hard. He ranks such an attitude along with pride, unholiness, brutality, conceit, love of self when he says that in the last days people will have these things as well as ¡¥having a form/show of godliness abut denying its power¡¦ in 2 Tim 3:5

„« Eagerly desire!

And then he gives one example of a gift that is so encouraging to this ¡¥spiritual dynamic¡¦- particularly when used in the way of love

- the gift of prophecy


But what is it? What is prophecy?

- v3 gives a definition: it is when someone speaks to people for their strengthening and encouragement

o but it¡¦s more than just human words, or even teaching

„X it¡¦s words that God brings to mind. It¡¦s words that are brought by the Spirit

It is something that has encouraged my life, deeply

- Illustr: first in Anaheim VCF in ¡¦90. Big change of gear.

Now- a few things

1) v 3 ¡¥speaks to men¡¦

Basically the more people it encourages, the better the gift is being used (pl)

- hence v12: you¡¦re excelling if it¡¦s used in a way to build up the church

- cf what we¡¦ve learnt re gifts so far: they are given to an individual for the church¡K body

2) OT & NT prophecy

You might think- ¡¥that all sounds a bit fluffy. I thought it was ¡§thus saith the Lord¡¨

- well: that IS OT prophecy. The OT prophets spoke the exact words of God to people. Their words wrote the OT. Disobeying them was the same as disobeying God as every word was inspired

- But their role is not taken over by US and general church prophecy. Their role was taken over by the Apostolic prophets

o Whose words were the exact words of God brought through humans

o Who saw disobedience to their words as tantamount to disobedience to God (14:36-38!!)

o Who wrote scripture

- None of us are writing scripture nor giving God¡¦s exact words!

This is important to understand.

- THIS (Bible) is God¡¦s word to us

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