In a prior post the idea that faith is a gift was explored (link). There are not many passages that describe faith as a gift, but in that post we did note two passages that do (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:9). In this post we will look at how a number of scholars understand the phrase “God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith” found in Romans 12:3.
For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3 NET)
Does the measure of faith given by God in Romans 12:3 mean that saving faith is a gift?
via Wikimedia Commons
There are two primary ways to understand the phrase “God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith”. One
view is to understand “the measure of faith” as saving faith, which has been the focus of the letter to the Romans up to chapter 12.The other view is to understand this faith as being related to our spiritual gifts and how we use them as this fits the immediate context of the passage (see also Rom 12:6; 1 Cor 12:9; Eph 4:7). Continue reading
The first post can be found here…
It has been interesting how often a relatively obscure prophet named Agabus keeps coming up in seminary. This week he also came up in the “General Epistles” class during our discussion on 2 Peter 1:20-21.
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
This would seem to be a fairly straight forward NT definition of how prophecy works that would rule out a fallible prophetic gift. With this in mind let’s examine the case against Agabus.
We meet Agabus in Caesarea where he intercepts Paul and his team who are on their way to Jerusalem having concluded the 3rd Missionary Journey (3MJ). As Paul has made his way through the cities of Macedonia and Achaia, numerous prophets have warned him that he will be face prison and hardship in Jerusalem (Acts 20:23). As Paul gets closer to Jerusalem he is warned again in Tyre (21:4) and in Caesarea by Philip’s daughters (21:9) before Agabus reaches him. Apparently Agabus had a prophetic vision while in Judea and felt compelled to travel north to warn Paul as well. Agabus’ prophecy provides the most detail about what awaits Paul and includes the OT practice of having the prophet act out some part of the prophecy. Continue reading
A conversation in our home group sparked the re-post of this two post series on fallible prophecy originally published in 2011.
One of the many seminary classes I am taking is pneumatology (the theology of the Holy Spirit). In this class we evaluated various positions on the spiritual gifts which exposed me to the a view that regards the NT gift of prophecy as operating today in a fallible manner. It is held by such esteemed pastors and scholars as John Piper, Wayne Grudem, and D. A. Carson.
Piper gives this succinct definition of the NT prophet:
the gift of prophecy is in the New Testament [and it] is a Spirit-prompted, Spirit-sustained utterance that does not carry intrinsic, divine authority and may be mixed with error.