June 27, 2021

Gifts of Speaking

Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 14:1-4

If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith.

—  Romans 12:6

The gift of prophecy involves speaking God’s Word in a specific situation. Although prophecy is sometimes about a future event, it is usually a preached word or teaching that God wants his people to hear and apply to their lives in the present.

For example, the prophet Moses received the law of God for his people so that the people could learn it and teach it to their children for daily living (see Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

Isaiah received some prophecies that were fulfilled many years later, but God also told Isaiah to urge the people, “Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed” (Isaiah 1:16-17). These words still apply to us today also.

The apostle Paul also mentions the gifts of tongues and of interpreting tongues. These gifts are less common than prophecy, but sometimes the Spirit gives them to his people to bring the Word of God in a dramatic way. Paul explains that tongues are a sign that the Spirit uses to convince unbelievers of his power, and that prophecy is intended for believers (1 Corinthians 14:22). Paul discusses these gifts in detail in 1 Corinthians 14, and he advises that if someone is going to speak in tongues in a worship gathering, a person who can interpret should also be there, so that everyone may be blessed by what is said.

The Spirit can call on us to speak his Word. When he does that, we must speak faithfully so that others can glorify God.

Spirit, guide us to speak so that people can hear your truth and grow to know your love. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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