Faith & Self Defense

Building Confidence Through Evidence

The Prophet’s Voice (Part 15)

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:11-16

Church prophets have an important charge from Jesus Christ, the Chief Prophet of the Church. It is our responsibility to “equip” God’s people for their ministry, with a view toward building up the Body of Christ, until we all come to unity of the faith and of the knowledge of Christ. It is the Lord’s desire that we continue to use the spiritual gift of prophecy until God’s people are no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but instead speak the truth in love.

Tall order, you say? You bet it is, but that’s why you have the gift. Jesus said He would build His Church and He’s doing that through you and me and all of the people He’s called to equip His people for their ministries.

It is a great privilege to serve God. Our service has little to do with us, but everything to do with God. What were we before God saved us? “… dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). What did God do with us? “… even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Ephesians 2:5). Why did God save us? “… that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7). So, what is our claim to fame? “… For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). See? Our service to God has little to do with us, but everything to do with God.

A Christian who has the spiritual gift of prophecy must be humble and faithful (Romans 12:6). Anyone who has a speaking/leading gift is in danger of becoming proud (e.g. 1 Timothy 3:6). Paul admitted that God afflicted him with a “thorn in the flesh” because of the many revelations he had received – “lest I be exalted above measure” (2 Corinthians 12:7).

We need more “equippers” in our churches. Why do I say that? Based on what Jesus and the Apostles taught in the Scriptures and what I’ve observed among members of the Body of Christ for more than 40 years, I believe people in positions of equipping have been doing something other than equipping. The Church is all of the things Paul warned us about:

  • acting like children
  • tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine
  • by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting

Instead of becoming what the Lord wants us to be:

  • unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God
  • to a perfect man
  • to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ
  • speaking the truth in love
  • grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

I wish it were different, but hiding our heads in the sand and pretending we’re not what Christ wants us to be is self-defeating. We must face who we are and do what we can to become all we can be for our Savior and Lord.

So, what do you believe about our future? Will it be bright or bleak? We’ll take a look at each of those possibilities in the next part of our study about The Prophet’s Voice.

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Mark McGee

Faith Defense

Building Confidence Through Evidence

“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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