The gospel – foundation for prophecy

viewingBilly Graham was one of the best-known evangelists in the world.

His message is an uncompromising one focusing on the love God in sending Christ to die for the sins of the world, reconciling man to God.

He is convinced about the message he brings declaring with confidence and conviction, “The Bible says…”.

Regaining a confidence in the Gospel

Prophetic ministry, especially in the “prophetic movement” needs to embrace a renewed confidence about the gospel. The mistake that many prophets make is to assume that their role is about speaking into a ‘already saved, gospel-saturated community’, and so they don’t need to reference the gospel behind what they think, say and do, because someone else has done so. Nothing could be further than the truth.

Prophecy that draws the heart back to the gospel brings confidence, inspiration and hope.

If there was just one message that God would bring to both the Church and to the world it is the Gospel. Old Testament prophets knew something about this and their passionate message was for Israel to return to God, put away idols and look to God alone for their salvation.

Prophets today, however, have a far greater message to declare.

People who think that they operate in the same anointing as old testament prophets are missing out on the benefit of living in a better covenant, a richer anointing and a greater intimacy and relationship with God. If I was asked to invite Agabus or Elijah to speak at our Church on Sunday I would choose Agabus.

Agabus? Yes, because Agabus, exposed to the preaching of the apostles understood what the gospel was about. Elijah would have told you what you had to do, what the law required, his ministry was based on observation of law, and how it had not been fulfilled.

  » Legalism says; God will love us if we change.  The gospel says God will change us because He loves us.”

What would Agabus have used as a foundation for all that he did? It would be the emerging revelation in AD 70, as the teaching of Paul began to circulate the Church; “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes… For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith. (Romans 1:16-17)

The gospel, not law and regulations, is the very power of God. And it works salvation.

Christ died for us, took the penalty we deserved, removed our guilt and shame, fully reconciled us to God, imputed the righteousness of Christ to us and made us holy in God’s sight.

That salvation is not just about being saved from sin, or even from God’s judgment. That massive, unlimited voltage power of God is at work in our lives. The powerful foundation and platform of prophetic ministry is captured in the gospel.

Tullian Tchividjian’s insight on the gospel is perhaps one of the greatest exhortations to the Church in this century so far, “Jesus + Nothing = Everything“.

And with that, Tullian has nailed it. That is the gospel. Nothing extra, Christ alone!

Christ died for us, took the penalty we deserved, removed our guilt and shame, fully reconciled us to God, imputed the righteousness of Christ to us and made us holy in God’s sight. And there is more.

When we become Christians we don’t have to pray, read our bibles, pay tithes (ever) wear suits and ties to Church, and attend prayer meetings. We do all these things because we want to. It is the outworking of God’s grace in our lives. We want to speak to God, read about Him and let His word embrace our heart. We give because we know it pleases God, and that He loves a cheerful giver.

We died to the law, tithing is dead, something better is here.

  » God’s capacity to forgive is greater than our capacity to sin; while our sin reaches far, God’s grace reaches farther.

But that is about grace, not the gospel?

The gospel is the grace of God, and the grace of God is manifest in the gospel. They are like identical twins!

So now, when you prophesy, it is about helping the saints know and experience the gospel that impacts their lives at every level, encouraging obedience not demanding it. The gospel strips away performance, it annuls the exploitations of delusional or misguided prophetic ministry that speak of and offer levels of anointing, shifts, activations, visitation and other such stuff and nonsense.

We are already seated with Christ in heavenly places, already declared Holy and blameless, already with an anointing that is sufficient to the task at hand, and already with gifts at work in our heart as we step out in faith and willing-heart obedience.

The gospel is irrelevant to society and counter-cultural, but it is the very power of God unto salvation, and it breaks through the iron walls of sin, rebellion, discouragement and despair.

Let everything you prophesy have of the gospel at its foundation.