Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sermon of the Week(s) (7/20 - 8/2, 2014) Matt Chandler on Gifts of the Spirit and a Critique of Cessationism

I listened to over a dozen sermons in the last couple weeks hoping to find one better than Chandler's from 7/20 entitled Eccentric and Faithful. (Every week is turning into Matt Chandler week on my blog.) Chandler is preaching on 1 Corinthians 12-13 and encouraging those in his church with the gifts of prophecy to use their gifts to edify the body (full transcript here). He does not believe prophecy means preaching or teaching, but in giving a word of knowledge. He explains his own experience with tongues and his exploration of spiritual gifts, critiquing cessationists-- those who believe the miraculous stopped when the Bible was "canonized."

"I have a ton of respect. I do not hate. I am not scared of, but I do strongly disagree with those who land in that camp. I find it to be biblically untenable. I'll show you from their very own argument. Again, I don't hate. I'm not afraid. I love very much a lot of men and women who land right here in this camp. I just don't see it as being biblically tenable. Let me show you that."

Chandler isn't going to set up "prophecy microphones" in his churches' aisles, but The Village Church has an organized system where someone who feels they have a prophetic word can write it down and submit it to the elders for presentation to the body. Or, in individual cases, Matt encourages them to approach the other believer in humility and present their word. But he encourages everyone to "test the spirits" using Scripture as the ultimate authority. 

It reminded me of the church we were members of in Texas, the pastor was known to occasionally have a word of knowledge about what was going on in someone's life. It's nice to hear this kind of message from someone held up as a Reformed, Southern Baptist, Nine Marks model.

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