R. A. Huebner
I. The Grace That Teaches – Titus 2:11
“For the grace of God which carries with it salvation for all men has appeared, teaching us that, having denied impiety and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, and justly, and piously in the present course of things, awaiting the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
- Saying, “no,” to impiety and worldly lusts. Denying self.
- Saying, “yes,” to living soberly, justly, and piously.
Prophecy, also, will bring to bear the mind of God on the state of the individual or the assembly.
II. The Importance of Prophesying – 1 Corinthians 12:28
If a man speaks in a revelation from God, there is a divine authority in that, as there is also in the apostolic office (Ephesians 2:20). On these, the early Church was built.
“And God has set certain in the assembly: first, apostles; secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers; then miraculous powers; then gifts of healings; helps; governments; kinds of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:28).
Prophets are spoken of in each case where gifts are spoken of, whether focusing on the gift itself, or the person with the gift – Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 (the persons themselves are spoken of).
The three persons of the Godhead are involved:
- Romans 12 (We see God the Father is in mind)
- The subject is prefaced by the theme of service to God.
- They are to be carried out in that sense – that it is service to God in responsibility to Him in the use of gifts.
- 1 Corinthians 12 (The Spirit is in view)
- Ephesians 4 (Christ is in view)
III. “Prophesying According to the Proportion of Faith” – Romans 12:6
Those who have the gift of prophesy may not have the same proportion of faith.
IV. Ephesians 4:8, 11-12
“And *He* has given some apostles and some prophets and some evangelists and some shepherds and teachers – for the perfecting of the saints – with a view to [the] work of [the] ministry, with a view to the edifying of the body of Christ.”
Prophets were not confined to one locality, but they were for the edifying of the whole body of Christ. He has set some in the Church, which is His body.
In Ephesians, it is the person itself in view. Not apostleship, but He gave apostles.
- Ephesians 4:8 – gifts “domata” (δόματα)
- 1 Corinthians 12:28 – gifts “charismata” (χαρίσματα)
“Shepherds and teachers” – Granville Sharp’s Rule established the Lord’s divinity whenever applied. Some applied it to other portions of scripture where Granville Sharp never applied it. It always had to do with the Person of Christ and His deity. Here the Shepherds (pastors) and the teachers have a distinction. The two gifts could have been found in 1 person, like the Apostle Paul, for example. But we must not always see them as one and the same in all cases.
“A prophet hath no honour in his own country!” (John 4:4)