What do you think of when you think of a prophet?
Webster’s defines prophet in this way:
- one who utters divinely inspired revelations
- one gifted with more than ordinary spiritual and moral insight
- one who foretells future events
- an effective or leading spokesman for a cause, doctrine, or group
There are many religious and non-religious prophets that can be named. I think a lot of us tend to combine 1 and 3 above when we think of a religious prophet. And, certainly there are many prophets throughout the bible who were inspired by God and accurately foretold future events. But, it’s important to remember point 4 above as well because it applies to all of us. Any one of us can be an effective spokesperson for a cause, doctrine or group.
And as it applies to Christians, I believe that the bible refers to every believer as a prophet. Let me explain.
Every believer is led by the Holy Spirit to discern the truth (1 John 2:20, 27). Every believer is directed to admonish with the word of Christ (Col. 3:16), as well as to instruct (Rom. 15:14) and encourage other believers (Heb. 3:13). The bible is full of exhortations for Christians to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and to be able to articulate cogent reasons for their faith to non-Christians. In order to do that effectively, we must read, ponder and love the Word of God. We must study it in order that we may interpret it properly and so that we can see the gospel in every situation. And, certainly there are those who are more gifted at this (see point 2 above), but that doesn’t mean we aren’t all charged with being a spokesperson for our cause — the Gospel.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.