1 Corinthians 12:1-3
Chapter 12 is known by many as the chapter about gifts. We’ll take a look at spiritual gifts and what God says about them over the coming days. But for this morning we are going to look at the first three verse in the chapter. We see in verse one that Paul is about to introduce the spiritual gifts to the reader. It is important that they (and we) are aware of what the spiritual gifts are. Paul showed them the difference between their life in Christ now and their lives before Him. Before their salvation, when they were pagans, they worshiped many things, which Paul rightly calls “dumb idols.” The word for “dumb” here is a Greek word which means, voiceless, speechless, or mute. In the figurative sense it means to be without meaning. This is a perfect description because idols cannot speak back to a person the way the LORD does. Verse 3 drives the point home as Paul shifts to the Holy Spirit. It is He alone that allows a person to utter the words, “Jesus is Lord.” For the Holy Spirit cannot say that “Jesus is accursed.” But the implications of this verse are enormous. If more believers saw this verse and understood it, the Word of God would become clearer to many!
Understand what the Word of God is saying here. If ANYONE calls Jesus Lord, they can only do it by the power of the Holy Spirit. That means that the Holy Spirit resides in them. That means they are saved. For instance, in Matthew 7:21, when Jesus describes those “in that day” (which is the day of the Judgment Seat of Christ) many will say, “Lord, Lord….” These are not people who thought they were saved and Jesus is telling them that they aren’t, these are people that are saved and Jesus is telling them that He didn’t know them as having an intimate relationship with Him. Besides, when you look in that verse, the person who enters the Kingdom of Heaven is one who does the will of the Father (isn’t “doing” a work?). The Kingdom of Heaven here is the literal, physical, kingdom which Jesus will rule over for 1,000 years. It isn’t heaven or eternal life.
Kingdom Truth Reflection:
Isn’t it interesting how God weaves things into our lives? Just yesterday I was speaking about this very verse in a workshop I had for the college I am attending. The discussion was about how we can know the difference between a saved person and a lost person (which many times is our problem to begin with…). The topic shifted to the rich young ruler and I made the statement that he was saved for two reasons. First, Jesus told him to sell all he had to obtain eternal (age lasting or millennial) life. I said, “If all one has to do is sell their belongings to gain heaven, then isn’t that a work?” Yeah…that’s not what Jesus meant, they said. Hmm.
Next the rich young ruler called Jesus “Lord,” and ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, no one can call Jesus Lord unless it’s by the Holy Spirit. Yeah…the word “lord” was common in those days, they said. Maybe so…but who was the rich young ruler talking to? Just sayin’.
It amazes me how the academically elite are so biblically blind. It’s as though they place their trust in what a commentator says and not what God says. When you bring the Truth of Scripture out to them, they ignore it based on what the “scholarly” had to say before them. Kinda sounds like what the Pharisees were like to me. But there is a lesson here. One I had to learn and one I pray you learn…don’t lose heart.
Even if they call you a kook, even if they tell all their preaching buddies that you “drank the Kool-Aid,” even if they refuse to listen to you, even if you submit God inspired, God breathed work and they tell you they will not listen, then don’t lose heart. We do not serve man…we serve God. And our God speaks. He is not like the pagan idols. Our God is Truth. His Word NEVER fails.
I am reminded of something I heard a preacher say, “Jesus lived by the heart of God, not by the traditions of men.” We should not put our trust in man, for he is just that, a man. Let us hold fast to the Word of God and allow Him to change us…Amen?!