Summary: God the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit has gifts to empower the church of Christ, enabling her to accomplishing everything He has called her to do in a sin cursed world.
Title: Where O' Where Has Prophecy Gone
Theme: The Ability to Preach God's Word
Series: He Gave Gifts
Introduction: Picture in your mind several years of giving to your loved ones everything they need to function and survive in an hostile world. How would you feel after finding out the family you would give your life for are now held in bondage, unable to achieve their goals and accomplish their daily task for living a fulfilled life. You make your way to their place of residents and find that everything you have given them to survive and function effectively with had been carelessly thrown into an old shed, collecting dust, rusting and decaying away.
Proposition: I would propose to you that God the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit has gifts to empower the church of Christ, enabling her to accomplishing everything He has called her to do in a sin cursed world. Yet most of those gifts have been in a sense placed where they are not being used. Much of His church are in some kind of bondage, unable to achieve their goals and accomplish their task at making disciples for Christ.
When I graduated from high school my father made sure I had what I needed to attend and graduate from Oklahoma Farrier's College. While attending that college the instructors handed me a book written by a master farrier. That book taught me how to properly trim and shod horses. It taught me to do corrective shoeing, which enabled lame horses to become sound so they can complete their daily task.
God has handed us a Book, the Bible. The Bible is God's revelation to mankind. When read under the leading of the Holy Spirit we find correction for our wrong motives and thoughts, thus the spiritually lame become sound so they can achieve their daily task of living for Christ Jesus.
Interrogative Sentence: As I mentioned just a moment ago, the Holy Spirit has gifts for the church of Jesus Christ. Can you name them? Can you identify them as they are exercised in your church? Are you prepared to teach about them?
The high charge to the church is to have people who can "Preach the Word..." People who are able "with great patience" through "careful instruction" teach the counsel of God.
Transitional Sentence: God's eternal Word tells Christians about an extraordinary gift, prophecy. Romans 12:4-6 says, "Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith." 1 Corinthians 14:1 tells us to "eagerly desire the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially [the gift] of prophecy. According to the most accurate translations of the Bible, we should desire to have the gift to be able to prophesy. (King James, English Standard Version)
"Prophecy" (προφητεία prophēteía) here in Romans 12:6 and in 1 Corinthians 14:1 is not the prominent idea of prediction, but the inspired delivery of warning, exhortation or instructions of God's Word (Wuest Word Studies in the Greek; Word Studies in the New Testament) The gift of "prophecy" has a special value and is very important given especially for the purpose of strengthening, edification and comfort. (The Pulpit Commentary; The Bible Knowledge Commentary; 1 Corinthians 14:3) This divine empowerment presented in the whole council of God's Word is to continue to work regularly in the life of the church today. (The IVP Bible Background Commentary; The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament; 1 Cor. 12:10; 13:2; 1 Thess. 5:20; 1 Tim. 4:14; Rev. 11:6; 19:10) This spiritual gift is a tool to build up the members of the body of Christ which are manifested for the common good to all. (Bible Exposition Commentary; 1 Corinthians 12:7; The New American Commentary) As used in Romans 12:6, in a general sense prophecy is used when it involves the accurate teaching of God's Word. (The Nelson Study Bible Commentary)