Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith… Romans 12:6
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.
1 Corinthians 14:1
What is the gift of prophecy and how can it work in a church like RGC? Our church was formed out of the charismatic movement almost 40 years ago and we’ve always identified as a church that welcomes and desires spiritual gifts, including the gift of prophecy.
Today we don’t commonly see the presence and power of the Spirit in the same way as we did in the 1970’s, but God’s unchanging Word urges us to earnestly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. Here are a few thoughts to consider as you think about these gifts in our lives.
Eagerly Desire Spiritual Gifts
- The presence of the Holy Spirit, filling believers and evident in spiritual gifts, is the sign of the New Covenant. (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8, 2:1-4, 2:14-18)
- Gifts are freely given by God for the purpose of strengthening and building up his church. Every believer has gifts! (1 Corinthians 12:7)
- There is no expiration date given for spiritual gifts, including the miraculous ones, at least not before Jesus, the Perfect One, returns. (1Corinthians 13:8-10) (Here is a helpful article explaining why we believe gifts continue to the present.)
Especially the Gift of Prophecy
- We see this gift in various cities and times during the New Testament era, including Rome, Corinth, Jerusalem, and Caesarea. (Romans 12:6, 1 Corinthians 14:1, Acts 21:8-9)
- Prophecy is a gift to be especially desired (1 Corinthians 14:1) because it can profoundly and deeply strengthen, comfort, and encourage believers (1 Corinthians 14:1-3) and also convince unbelievers that God truly lives and is present with the church. (Corinthians 14:24-25)
- New Testament prophecy is not authoritative in the way of an New Testament apostle or an Old Testament prophet. Prophecy is always under the authority of Scripture. (1 Corinthians 14:29-32)
- A short definition: prophecy is “telling something God has spontaneously brought to mind.”
Using the gift of prophecy
- Ask God for this gift. Eagerly desire that God might give this gift to you and/or that he might graciously stir this gift up in our church.
- If you sense you might have a prophetic word, let love empower you to give it a try.
- Collaborate with whomever is leading the meeting. At community group, let the leader know what you are sensing. On Sunday morning, bring it to the person responsible for the ministry microphone.
- Deliver your word humbly. Since we prophesy in part, we know we can err, so we do well to preface what we say with phrases like, “I sense God showing me” or “I believe God has brought to my mind.” These are more helpful than, “Thus says the Lord”!
If you’d like to learn more about this, take a look at chapter 30 in Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem or chapter 6 in The Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Gifts by Sam Storms.
Let us be a people who eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.
Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
 Wayne Grudem, Bible Doctrine, p. 408.