Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 3 Study # 5
Thesis: The critical attitude in all matters of life is that one which addresses the essence of God's Truth as truth.
Introduction: In our last study we looked into the possiblity that a believer would "quench the Spirit" when He set before him/her some "truth" that would upset that believer's "life" in some manner. At issue in our study this evening is the meaning and significance of the exhortations that follow Paul's "Stop quenching the Spirit". It is my contention that the attitude we take toward God's truth, however it is established as truth, is the bottom line in regard to our growth in true understanding.
April 12, 2015
- I. The Nature of "Prophesyings".
- A. In every case a "prophesying" is a concept that is set forth by its apparent originator as a truth from God.
- 1. The most helpful text for understanding the nature of "prophesyings" is 1 Corinthians 13:2 where Paul linked it to a rather profound level of understanding of how life works.
- 2. The issue is not "predicting future events", but revealing divine wisdom regarding how choices will affect the future outcomes for those involved.
- B. The problems are several...
- 1. The "apparent originator" desires to be seen as a mouthpiece for God; a desire that may have its roots in the desire to be seen as "somewhat" (Galatians 2:6).
- a. If this desire is the root, the words are absolutely untrustworthy.
- b. If this is not the root, the words may yet be untrustworthy.
- c. The problem this creates is that what a person desires is not easily known.
- 2. The "truth from God" may, or may not, be a "truth from God".
- a. 1 Corinthians 14:24 and 31 indicate that "prophesying" in the Church was not absolutely dependable and is always in need of some degree of evaluation (the gifts of the Spirit do not perfect their possessors and may be corrupted by those imperfect persons).
- b. Even those who claim "special inner insight" are often making those claims in order to build a reputation rather than edify a fellow believer.
- 3. The particular "prophesyings" in any given setting will very likely not come across as "fun", or "beneficial", but, rather, as "insistent requirements for some fundamental levels of change".
- a. No one seeks to have his/her "life" upset by demands that put up rather large boundaries on one's "freedom".
- b. This inner reluctance is always a problem for "prophesyings".
- II. The Danger: Despising Prophesyings.
- A. At root, "despising" is a concept of "smug superiority" wherein the guilty one elevates his/her wisdom above the wisdom of God, and everyone who does not agree with his/her point of view.
- B. The object of the attitude: the truth of God.
- III. The Solutions.
- A. Prove all things.
- 1. At root is the fact that no one can simply accept what is said; all "speech" is subject to being a vehicle of corruption and, thus, must be "tested".
- 2. The "testing" procedures may vary somewhat, but the objective is to see if what is set forth as the will of God is actually the will of God.
- B. Put a death grip on those which are good.
- 1. Once a "truth" has been validated, it is to be embraced with an intense grip.
- 2. Life is at stake and being committed to "truth" is fundamental to being able to survive.
- C. Put one's own "freedoms" under the need for a clear reputation for goodness.
- 1. No one is "safe" who is unwilling to put everything on the table to lose.
- 2. Even the mere appearance of evil is to be shunned.