The 7 Purposes of New Testament Prophecy

7 Purposes of New Testament Prophecy
7 Purposes of New Testament Prophecy

The 7 purposes of New Testament prophecy according to 1 Corinthians 14 are shown here:

To Build People Up

To edify or build up (v3). Oh, how the church and church people need to be built up in our day. No more tearing down, putting down or pulling down even if it’s true. No need for criticism or complaining. Rather, our great need is to build up the body of Christ.

To Encourage People

To exhort or encourage (v3). Encourage is a better term here. We all understand and respond to encouragement. The outstanding hallmark of NT prophecy is simply this—to give courage and strength to people.

How do we discern true prophecy? If it encourages, it’s most likely a word from God.

Pastors especially need encouragement. It’s not easy to shepherd people. When I travel to speak at churches, I try to find something from the Holy Spirit that is true about the pastor that will encourage him in front of the congregation.

Before I spoke at a church in Romania, I labored nearly all Saturday night in prayer. When I gave the Sunday morning message, people received it well, but I had no idea of the far-reaching impact. Hours after the meeting, the pastor and the lead elder each confessed they had planned to resign at church that very morning. However, after receiving the message, each took courage and decided NOT to resign. In months that followed, that pastor became a significant leader of ministers in his entire region.

To Comfort Hurting People

To console or comfort (v3). Some prophecies are specifically designed to comfort bereaved or suffering people. The Holy Spirit is the most gentle Person among us.

To Convict, Call to Account, to Reveal Secrets

To convict or reprimand, rebuke, admonish, chide, expose unbelievers and outsiders (v 24).

To call to account or discern, sift, question unbelievers and outsiders(v 24).

To reveal or disclose hidden secrets in unbelievers and outsiders (v 24).

God gives these revelations at times so that skeptics or private persons will humble themselves, become worshipers in awe of God, and confess That God is present (v25).

Jack Deere, a former professor and self-confessed skeptic of pneumatika at Dallas Theological Seminary, explains that prophecies in his church frequently accomplish these goals. Deere is the author of Why I am Still Surprised by the Power of the Spirit.

To Teach People

To increase knowledge (v31). Literally, the text says “that all may learn.” This is the origin of the thought that there are “teaching prophecies.”

The Bible says, You can all prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:31). If you give a message that fulfills one of these 7 purposes of New Testament prophecy, you can be confident you are fulfilling God’s desire and accomplishing His purpose.

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