If Prophecy, In Proportion to Your Faith

Church Family: Have you ever been speaking to another believer who is struggling when all of the sudden a Scripture spontaneously comes to your mind that you know that this brother or sister in Christ in front of you needs to hear? You have this great conviction that this Scripture will lovingly bring great encouragement and it will build this believer up in the promises of God. So, what do you do? You share this encouraging, life giving word to this brother or sister in Christ and they are built up and strengthened in Christ in their time of need. The Church has just been strengthened and united by the word of God that you have shared in faith.

I personally believe that your faithful action in giving this word to another believer is the act of giving a prophetic word as spoken of in New Testament. From God’s Word you have spoken forth something that God has brought spontaneously to mind for the building up and encouragement of another believer. No, this action does not make your words infallible and no, your words do not need to be added to the Canon of Scripture.

Yes, this view of prophecy makes me a continuationist and not a cessationaist (to be discussed Sunday). Simply put, I believe that the New Testament tells the Church that the gift of prophecy is still available today for the building up of the body of Christ until He returns while at the same time there is no threat to the finality of the biblical canon.

What does this gift of prophecy look like in the Church today? We are told in 1 Corinthians 14:29-32, that a prophetic word for today is to be based on a “revelation”. A revelation is something that God brings to your mind. Not just anything that comes to mind. Not just a hunch. Not just a feeling. Not just a cliché. Not just a meme. Not just a country music song. Not just a story that relates. Not just a “life lesson.” This is a revelation that must be weighed by you and others against God’s word (1 Cor. 14:29). Paul says, “Let the others weigh what is said.” Paul is saying that when someone brings you a “word from God” you need to weigh it or, evaluate it with some mild skepticism. In other words, measure it, judge it, assess it with God’s Word. Include other brothers and sisters in Christ in the weighing of the spontaneous word against Scripture as well. This means that a word of prophecy does not have final, decisive authority. The Scriptures do. Do you feel the weight of needing to have God’s Word in your heart at all times. When God’s Word is in your heart you are always ready to speak a loving, edifying word into another believer’s life when they are in hardships while also ready to weigh a word that a believer has spoken to you.

1 Thessalonians 5:20-22 Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

See you Sunday, loving the Word of God: Steve

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