Summary: Answers to congregational questions about prophetic ministry as it functions in the church today.
Dakota Community Church
November 18, 2012
Grace at Work - 11
The Ministry Gifts:
Ephesians 4:11-12 - some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers
I want to begin by addressing some of the issues that have arisen from the discussion panel two weeks ago, please feel free this morning to raise your hand and ask questions or make comments.
Audio for this sermon is available at dakotacommunitychurch.com
One of the ideas that came forward was the idea of being able to make mistakes in learning prophetic ministry and growing in discernment. A few passages to consider:
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Seems to indicate room for mistakes
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
Serious warning not to allow mistakes to go unaddressed.
The way to guard against error is to maintain solid doctrinal teaching.
When the truth is continually displayed, lies stand out like red flags.
When the Galatians fall into works righteousness what does Paul do?
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
We cannot merely shut down the issue and sweep it under the carpet - there is way way too much scripture addressing it.
Question: I have been a Christian for a long time but have not seen any of these gifts functioning, wouldn’t this indicate that these things have passed away?
The fact that we have been Christians for a long time and have not seen any of this kind of gift in operation is not a valid argument against its existence.
I have friend pastoring a church in the mid west region of the US. All month long he has been posting on Facebook that Romney would win and win with a historic landslide - WHY?
THAT”S THE WAY EVERYONE HE TALKS TO WAS VOTING!
There were a whole lot of people going in a different direction outside of his experience.
The Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit may be the same for you.
Question: Should prophesy bring hope and encouragement and confirm something that is already in your heart. What about the prophesy that doesn't bring hope and encouragement?
Question: Should every prophetic word be brought before the elders and if so why?
12 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.