This morning, we look at 1 Corinthians 2:1–5. Paul had spent about 18 months in Corinth on his first visit there. Now he writes his first letter to warn the believers against basing their faith on the wisdom of men instead of God’s power. One of the ways he does this is to remind them of what his aim was in first coming to them and how he came.
Why the Gift of Prophecy Is Not the Usual Way of Knowing God’s Will
What I want to try to show today is that this gift of prophecy is not meant by God to be the usual way we should make decisions about the will of God. If God really speaks today, then surely this is the way to know his will about jobs and mates and investments and purchases and travel plans. And pretty soon we tend to forsake the language of wisdom and insight and reason and persuasion, and instead use the language of “God told me to do this,” and “God told me to do that” about almost everything.
Last week I tried to show that 1 Corinthians 13:8–12 teaches that the gift of prophecy will pass away when Jesus comes back—the way a dim mirror image will give way to the living face. And I argued that therefore the gift of prophecy is still valid in the church today. I promised that today we would take up the questions: What is the gift of prophecy, and how is it to be exercised?
A couple of week’s ago, we focused on gifts of healings, which leads us to next focus on the gift of prophecy. The whole issue of knowing when and where and how to pray for healing, the issue of knowing when to ask God for some sign or miracle, the issue of making decisions when you have exhausted your ability to apply Scripture. All these issues raise for us the question of the role of prophecy. Does God still speak today? Does he still give the gift of prophecy today? If so what is it like? How should we use it?