Summary: Tongues & Prophecy Part 1 - – sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(1). Tongues & Prophecy – Two Views:
(2). Some Introductory Remarks:
• We are studying 1st Corinthians, not just tongues and prophesy
• The main subject of chapters 12-14 is spiritual gifts
• Paul addresses chapter 14 to a local church, not an individual
• The apostle Paul is primarily writing to correct a problem
(3). Tongues and Prophecy a Definition:
• What do we mean by tongues?
• What do we mean by prophecy?
• Two local Churches of differing denominations;
• Were located only a few streets from each other in a small community.
• So they thought it might be better if they would merge;
• And this way become one united body, larger and more effective,
• Rather than two small struggling churches.
• Good idea ... but both were too petty to pull it off.
• The problem? They couldn't agree on how they would recite the Lord's Prayer.
• One group wanted "forgive us our trespasses"
• While the other group demanded "forgive us our debts."
• Sadly news of this failed merger reached the local newspaper;
• And the newspaper reported the story saying;
• That “one church went back to its trespasses while the other returned to its debts!”
• TRANSITION: Now as silly as this story seems,
• It's a classic case of majoring on the minors.
• There are certain truths which are essential,
• The fundamentals of the Christian faith;
• i.e. Jesus is the Son of God.
• i.e. The substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross.
• i.e. The physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
• With these truths there is no compromise, they are not for negotiation!
• Deny these truths and you cannot be a Christian;
• They are core to the Christian faith.
But there are other issues which are secondary:
• That means that Christians can and will disagree on certain issues;
• Their understanding and therefore practices will be different.
• i.e. Differences over forms and styles of church leadership.
• (Should you have Elders, a Vicar, a Pastor or a leadership Team?)
• i.e. Differences over patterns of worship?
• (Liturgical and ‘non-liturgical’; traditional and modern; restrained and extrovert)
• Into this secondary group I would add;
• Particular emphases about the gifts of the Holy Spirit including tongues and prophecy
• It is secondary because it does not affect your salvation and key beliefs:
• i.e. you can be a charismatic Christian or a cessationist Christian.
• And you will still be a Christian! And still be a godly Christian!
As with any of the different gifts mentioned in the New Testament:
• We noted in previous studies;
• There are at least 28 spiritual gifts which have their definition revealed to us in the Bible;
• And they fall into three natural categories:
• Support gifts (e.g. Evangelist, teacher, pastor)
• Foundational gifts that provided direction & leadership for the Church.
• Service gifts (e.g. Administration, giving, helping, serving).
• Gifts that work ‘behind the scene’ building up the body of Christ.
• Sign gifts (e.g. Miracles, tongues, word of knowledge).
• Supernatural gifts that manifested the Holy Spirit’s power,
• Now a Church can function and go on and grow without any one of those 28 gifts!
• Because no one gift is in itself essential to a local Church functioning.
• So a Church can grow without some of these gifts being present;
• Not every Church will have every gift.
• Although I want to say and emphasise;
• That a Church will operate better the more gifts that it has;
• When those gifts are used correctly.
Quote: The term ‘spiritual gift’ simply means:
"A skill or ability that enables each Christian to perform a function in the body of Christ with ease and effectiveness".
• The Detroit News carried a story about the American comedian Bill Cosby's aged mother;
• The story illustrates how useless gifts are unless they are used.
• She had been raised in poverty, and the family had very little money.
• As a result, she never had modern conveniences;
• And had gotten accustomed to doing things the hard way.
• When the children were old enough to get jobs,
• They often gave their mother electrical appliances as Christmas gifts;
• Thinking it would make her life easier - but she wouldn't use them.
• Bill especially remembered that after a while his mother had two or three toasters.
• But she left them in their boxes and put them on top of the refrigerator.
• At breakfast she would still do the toast in the oven.
• If the boys protested, she would say,
• "Leave them on the refrigerator. I'm used to doing it the old way."