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Prophecy in the New Testament

Discovering the Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  28:23
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The NT describes the prophetic aspect of the ministry of Jesus Christ, and also recognises that prophetic gifts are given to believers through the Holy Spirit. It provides guidance on how such prophetic gifts are to be used.

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I. Jesus Christ Recognized as a Prophet

Matthew 21:11 ESV
11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
Mark 6:4 ESV
4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.”
Mark 8:27–28 ESV
27 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”
Luke 7:16 ESV
16 Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!”
Luke 24:17–19 ESV
17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,
John 4:19 ESV
19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.
Definition: Prophecy is communication of a divine message through a human.
Definition: A prophet is one who speaks for a god and interprets his will to man.

II. Prophecy in the Church

A. Prophecy is one among many spiritual gifts

1 Corinthians 12:28–29 ESV
28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
Romans 12:6 ESV
6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;
1 Corinthians 12:10 ESV
10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
Ephesians 4:11 ESV
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,

B. Not all are called to be prophets

1 Corinthians 12:29 ESV
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
Ephesians 4:11 ESV
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,

C. Prophecy is valueless without love

1 Corinthians 13:1–2 ESV
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

D. Prophecy is for the building up of the church

1 Corinthians 14:26 ESV
26 What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.
Romans 12:3–6 ESV
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;
1 Corinthians 14:3–5 ESV
3 On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 4 The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. 5 Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.
1 Peter 4:10 ESV
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

E. Prophecy superior to speaking in tongues

1 Corinthians 14:5 ESV
5 Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.

III. Prophecy in the early church

Acts 2:17 ESV
17 “ ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;
Acts 11:27–28 ESV
27 Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius).
Acts 21:10–11 ESV
10 While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’ ”
acts 21:
Acts 15:32 ESV
32 And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words.
Acts 21:9 ESV
9 He had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied.
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