Parkland First Baptist Church
Sunday, June 28, 2020
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        Panorama of the Bible

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  • Firm Foundation
  • Come Now Is The Time To Worship
  • Breathe
  • As We Gather
  • Gift of Tongues and Prophecy

    We’ve been a series about the Holy Spirit.
    Last week we began our look at the Spiritual gifts that each of us has from the Holy Spirit.
    We defined a spiritual gift as Jesus pursuing His mission through the members of His church.
    We saw how the church at Corinth was miss using the gifts and boasting about which one they had compared to others.
    They saw it as a status symbol rather than a means of serving each other and the lost.
    So, Paul wrote to them explaining the proper use and attitude toward spiritual gifts.
    Last we looked a brief list of the gifts and how they are to be used.
    Today, I’d to look at the gifts of tongues and prophecy.
    In some church circles there is a bit of controversy surround these gifts.
    I’m a little nervous about this one because there are some many strong opinions.
    There are good Christians all over the map on this.
    There are some who have taken what the Bible teaches about these things and gone way beyond it.
    Then there are those, in response, have gone beyond what the Bible says by denying the presence of these things.
    In other words, there is error of embracing more than what the Bible says; then the error of not embracing as much as the Bible says.
    The good news is that God has given us everything He intended to say about this matter.
    “There is a lack of hard and fast clarity when it comes to this issue, and I think that’s intentional.” JD Greear
    God wants us to be open to anything God chooses to do in this area; but He leaves us clear parameters so that we can know when it’s Him doing it.
    There’s generally 4 positions when it comes to spiritual gifts like tongues and prophecy
    Cessationist: gifts (like prophecy, tongues and healings) have ceased
    On the other end is the Pentecostal position: i.e. the gifts are in full operation, and normative for every Christian, and if you are not using them there is something wrong with you, and you need to fix it, or start faking it.
    The charismatic: which is that these gifts are in existence, and part of the normal ministry operations of the church, but not everyone has them.
    Then there’s a 4th position that doesn’t really have a name, but believes that the gifts have not ceased, but that most of the ways the gifts are being used today is not really biblical … or helpful.
    I want to open the Bible and see what it tells us the Spirit might be doing, but I also want us to do it in the way the Spirit said He would do it.
    Now turn in your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 14, we’re going to through it verse by verse and see what it says to us.

    1 Corinthians 14

    Verse 1-2
    According to Wayne Grudem the definition of tongues is “a form of prayer and praise you express to God in a language you do not understand.”
    Notice tongues are spoken to God.
    Example: In Acts 2, the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and they began to speak in other tongues.
    The people, mostly Jews in Jerusalem for the festival of Pentecost, heard the disciples speaking in there own language and were amazed.
    These were other human languages; they were unknown to the speaker, but known to somebody.
    Peter then got up and explained that this was the Holy Spirit in fulfillment of prophecy from Joel and then preaches his first sermon.
    Another example, after the conversion of Cornelius, the Holy Spirit came upon those Gentiles and they began speaking in tongues and were praising God.
    How did they know? Could they have been speaking in Hebrew?
    There are other places where people praised God in a language no their own and is being given as a sign that it is from God.
    God is bringing them into his family; that God was including non-Jewish groups into His kingdom.
    Verse 3 -4
    Now this is about prophecy that has 3 forms
    Preaching like what I’m doing.
    Wisdom: insight into an issue where you don’e have chapter and verse
    Knowledge: knowing about a situation and knowing just what to say.
    You need to know that the last two don’t take on the weight of Scripture
    They are supernatural insights God brings to mind, but they do not take on the level of Scripture
    You report them in your own words which mean they can have errors.
    Paul expects every NT congregation to be filled with this gift, “your sons and daughters will prophesy.”
    In the OT there was a special group of priest, in the NT, we are called a kingdom of priests.
    Also there were a class of prophets, in the NT every congregation is filled with prophets.
    Rules for sharing prophesy
    Never claim authority of God when you speak for example “God says this!”
    It is always best when tied to Scripture
    You should use it for the purposes given in verse 3
    Rules for receiving it
    Ask: Does it contradict what God has said clearly elsewhere?
    Ask: Does it accord with what God is doing in your life?
    Ask: Does it glorify God or the prophet?
    We need is in our church where you are not just praying “to God” but “with God.”
    Where I’m not just preaching about God but “with God.”
    If you’re having trouble with this, just ask this.
    Do you believe God leads and guides you through His Spirit?
    Do you believe He can place thoughts into your mind and heart as you pray?
    Do you believe there is a God who lives and moves through the church?
    You may not have known what to call it, but that’s all this is, to varying degrees.
    Verse 5
    Paul wants us all to be more intimate with the Spirit, more interaction with the Spirit
    I get the picture that he wishes that we had every spiritual gift known to man
    What is the purpose of gifts? To build up the church not make you feel better.
    If you notice chapter 13, the great love chapter is stuck between these 2 passages on the Spirit and gifts
    Why? because it is the love for others that is the basis for how the spiritual gifts should be used.
    Paul knew what he was doing when he added that chapter
    Verse 6 -12
    If nobody understands what your saying, how could that be building them up.
    He then gives three illustrations
    Instruments: they must be played to really be used so all can enjoy?
    Bugle for battle: if it’s not heard how the soldiers know when to fight?
    Then your speech is unintelligible how would anyone know what is said?
    Foreigner: barbarian. Word that the Romans used for all foreigners because their language sounded like bar-bar-bar … like blah-blah-blah.
    So what were they to seek: Gifts that build up the body!
    Verse 13-19
    What Paul is saying, “Even with me. If I am praying with my spirit but not my mind, I’m not really doing myself that much good.”
    So I’d rather pray and sing with my spirit AND my mind.
    If you were to holler out in a tongue what good does that do for us?
    But is you say, “God is great!” we can join you in that praise.
    You remember how the Corinthians were thinking they were really spiritual and boasting about it?
    So Paul is saying, I’ve got you all beat.
    I speak in more tongues than all of you … and that’s when I’m NOT writing Bible, taking trips up into the 3rd heaven or bringing people back from the dead with my hanky.
    So even if you do speak with the tongue of an angel I’ve got you beat!
    10,000 is the highest number in Greek often used to mean infinity.
    Paul would rather share 5 words like Jesus is my Lord! than use 10,000 in a tongue
    He’s wanting them to know that though he is very gifted, he would never speak in tongues in church because it does no one good.
    Verse 20
    The Corinthians were immature and sounded like babies
    Do babies make sense?
    You see, they thought their gift elevated them about others and it made them feel close to God.
    Paul is telling them that is not maturity.
    Maturity is when the finished work of Christ on the cross makes you feel close to God.
    You can’t get any closer to God than you are in Christ.
    Verse 21 - 25
    Here’s some good teaching on maturity
    Tongues are a sign. They had a point not for believers but unbelievers while prophecy is for believers.
    So if tongues is a sign to unbelievers that means they must be able to understand them and prove that the message is from God.
    Paul is quoting Isaiah 28:11-12
    Tongues were a sign that to unbelieving Jews that the gospel was not just for them, but for the whole world.
    It reverses the judgment of the Tower of Babel
    So tongues were a sign of judgment against the Jews for rejecting the Messiah and a blessing for the Gentiles that God was now bringing into His kingdom.
    Paul is trying to tell them if they were all speaking in tongues and an unbeliever walks in, he would think they were nuts and leave.
    But if they were prophesying, then the unbeliever would understand and believe in Jesus and worship God with them.
    That’s what I want us to be: a place where God is alive and working and people cannot deny the power and insight and answers to prayer that the Spirit is doing through us.
    Verse 26 - 40
    If there is no interpreter present, then keep your tongue to yourself.
    What you notice is that tongues are not ecstatic, where you get taken over and can’t control yourself.
    They are self-controlled.
    Verses 29-20 takes on a different forms in churches.
    In my experience an open mic and a large crowd is like having fly paper for the wrong people.
    For the most part, this happens better on the small group level.
    But we are going to be doing certain things even in the large group to encourage this.
    Different people praying, reading Scripture, sharing what God has been doing in their lives.
    Paul gives some advice on order during a worship time.
    There is a balance: freedom in the Spirit; and decency and order.
    I think that we have the decency and order thing down pat.
    We’ve got bulletins and orders-of-worship.
    We could use a little more freedom in the spirit.
    We don’t’ want to lose verse 40; we want to gain vs. 39.

    So, Now What?

    I hope that our church services should be characterized much more by interaction with the Spirit than they are (14:25–26)
    Worship service is when 3 things are present in abundance: word of God; Spirit of God; people of God
    We need a living God at work in our church!
    These spiritual gifts of all kinds show that God is living and full of redemption and love.
    Remember, Jesus said, “I’m going away to heaven, but I’m come back to move in and through you in the person of the Holy Spirit.”
    It’s about communion with the living God. Living God who communicates his love real people with real pain in real time.
    We each should come to church with something to give (14:26).
    Each of you should come with the Spirit, ready to worship; ready to share what He puts in on your heart.
    That makes for a Spirit-filled service? A great sermon? The band playing all the best songs?
    The Spirit comes in with you.
    We should not forbid to speak in tongues (14:36)
    Some of you might wish we would, but Paul tells us directly not to do that.
    I’m part of a denomination that does that in some ways, and it is sin.
    That’s where I’m saying you’d gone beyond the Bible … God left a lack of clarity on purpose.
    Don’t need to fill it in! He has no regrets!
    So, if you do that in how you worship God and pray, I am not the one to judge it.
    I will, however, insist you abide by the rules Paul lays down in 1 Cor 14 as it relates to worship, but I am not going to forbid you to speak in tongues in a worship service or discourage you in your private prayer time.
    Not all Christians speak in tongues (12:30)
    The idea that this the indispensable mark of receiving the gospel is not true.
    Paul says it directly.
    The primary purpose of tongues is to signify the spread of the gospel into non-Jewish peoples (14:21–22)
    Tongues are a sign of the gospel for unbelievers (vs. 22) specifically unbelieving Jews.
    Paul says, plainly, that they are not a sign for believers, but for unbelievers.
    Seeking tongues is not a sign of spiritual maturity; seeking gifts that serve and build up others is (14:19–20)
    What Paul wants you to do is to interact with the Spirit and offer yourself to be used by the Spirit for the good of the church.
    We need the Spirit in our church services.
    You have to bring Him!
    This is what this whole series has been about.
    Less of you coming to listen to me give sermons and us become more of a tabernacle for the Spirit of God!
    Let’s pray!

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