6However, since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them properly: if prophecy, in proportion to one’s faith;
6Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Perhaps no topic in evangelical circles stirs more controversy than the nature and function of spiritual gifts. There can sometimes be a great divide between ‘cessationists’ and ‘continuationists’ on the “unusual” gifts. In this sermon on Romans 12:6 titled “Spiritual Gifts (2),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones speaks with clarity and boldness on the topic. In arguing for the continuation of all the gifts – including the unusual gifts – he answers specific objections posed by ‘cessationists’. One unique feature of this sermon is Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s reminder to all camps of the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit in both the dispensing of gifts and withholding of gifts. The Spirit alone determines the manifestation of all gifts but the Spirit can be quenched. This difficult balance is maintained in this message where he warns that quenching the Spirit results in not just a lack of unusual gifts, but also the hinderance of the “regular” gifts. Moreover, he helpfully answers one of the most practical questions in the Christian life: how does one know their particular gift? With practical application and in-depth teaching on prophesy, tongues and miraculous gifts, Dr. Lloyd-Jones expounds on the great doctrine of spiritual gifts.
- The gifts mentioned in Romans 12 are spiritual gifts, not natural gifts. They are given by God's grace alone.
- These gifts are only given to believers. Believers should covet these gifts to edify the church, not for personal gain.
- Believers should be satisfied with whatever gift God gives them and not be jealous of others' gifts.
- These gifts did not cease with the apostolic age. Many of the gifts like ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading, and showing mercy are still evident today.
- The absence of certain gifts today may be due to the low spirituality of the church, not because those gifts have ceased. We must be careful not to limit God's Spirit.
- God's sovereignty means He can give or withhold gifts as He wills for His purposes. We cannot predict or prophesy how He will act.
- Church history shows God has given both regular gifts that are commonly evident and unusual, exceptional gifts, especially during times of revival.
- To know your gift, seek to know God, submit to Him, and your gift will become evident. The church can also help confirm your gift.
- The gift of prophecy is the inspired delivery of a message from God, including warning, exhortation, instruction, judgment, and revealing secrets.
- Prophecy differs from preaching and teaching in its immediacy. Prophecy is a spontaneous revelation, while preaching and teaching involve study and preparation.
- Prophecy can come through preaching or teaching when God gives an unprepared, inspired message. Prophecy may be given to women, though they are not permitted to preach or teach.
- We must be careful and humble in approaching these spiritual gifts, not limiting God but also avoiding foolish fanaticism. We need God's Word and Spirit to guide us.
The Book of Romans
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.