Podcast: The Prophetic—Why Is It Central?
In this podcast, we talk about the spiritual gift of prophecy — the kind described in 1 Corinthians 14
where Christians “speak to other people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation” (verse 3). Wayne Grudem defined prophecy this way: “Telling something that God has spontaneously brought to mind.”
Prophecy is based on who God is: One who speaks and communicates, whose written word begins and ends with His speech. In Genesis 1, He speaks and creates, He speaks throughout the Old Testament, and into the New Testament . . . and then the book of Revelation ends with the Holy Spirit speaking.
Because prophecy is based on who God is, pursuing it starts not with the gift itself, but with relationship and communion with God. First and foremost, this is a call for us to cultivate friendship with God, to relate and listen to Him, and to saturate ourselves with His words in Scripture. It’s an invitation to spend time in the presence of the Word Himself , Christ the Son (John 1:1), who is revealing things to us and through us.
Although several definitions have been given for the gift of prophecy, a fresh examination of the New Testament teaching on this gift shows that it should be defined not as “predicting the future,” nor as “proclaiming a word from the Lord,” nor as “powerful preaching”—but rather as “telling something that God has spontaneously brought to mind.”
—Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994), p. 1049.
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