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Building up believers and the New Testament church

The House Church

Gifts in the Church

God has not called everybody to have a ministry in the church. He has given certain ministries or "gifts" to the church. Ministries are ministries of grace. They must have the anointing of God. The minister knows what God is doing as He builds His church. As God is building His church, He uses these gifts He has given to enable the church to grow and be strengthened in spiritual things.

If God is truly working in the midst of His people, He will work by men who are called, prepared, and sent by Him. This has been the working of God from the very beginning. When God's people first came together as the church and started to know the building of God, it was Jesus Christ who gave different gifts to the church. He gave teachers and prophets for the ministry of His word. He gave the gift of apostles, who would be sent out for the purpose of seeing the local church come into expression in other localities. He sent the evangelist who would propagate the gospel and see people brought into the kingdom of God. But for the working in the local church, God has designated two particular gifts: teachers and prophets. These are very meaningful if we understand what they are for.

The prophet is to hold up the revelation of what God is doing. These must be men that have a spiritual sense of the presence of God and His working, those that see clearly what God desires. The apostle Paul termed himself a "master builder." He saw what God was doing, and he said, "You can build on this foundation" and no other (I Cor. 3:10-11). The foundation is Christ Jesus Himself.

We cannot confuse the ministry of the prophet with the gift of prophecy that comes by the Spirit. The manifestations of the Spirit, such as prophecy, can come through those who are not prophets. The ministry of the prophet is a continual sharing of the word, bringing forth the purpose of God and keeping it clear before the local church.

The teacher is the one who takes the word from the Lord, breaks it up and feeds the flock. Both of these gifts rely upon the anointing of God to make His word alive and nourish the ones that hear it. We need both prophet and teacher functioning in some degree of grace in each gathering, to give the proper expression of the body of Christ, functioning and expressing the will of God.