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1 Corinthians 12:3 meaning...

This verse from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians addresses the crucial aspect of confession and the role of the Holy Spirit in recognizing Jesus as Lord. 

  • Confession and the Spirit's Influence

The opening phrase, "Therefore I make known to you," signals that Paul is about to convey a vital truth to the Corinthians. In this case, it pertains to the nature of confession concerning Jesus Christ.

No Man Speaking by God’s Spirit Says, 'Jesus is Accursed': Paul presents a stark contrast. If someone is genuinely speaking by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they would never utter words that denounce or curse Jesus. This affirms the sanctity and reverence attached to the name of Jesus.

No One Can Say, 'Jesus is Lord,' but by the Holy Spirit: The positive counterpart emphasizes the exclusivity of genuine confession. The acknowledgment that "Jesus is Lord" is not merely a verbal statement but a spiritual affirmation that can only be genuinely made under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Significance for Today

Confession as a Spiritual Act: The verse underscores that confessing Jesus as Lord is not just a verbal exercise but a spiritual act. It is a proclamation that originates from a heart transformed and influenced by the Holy Spirit.

Discerning True Confession: The contrast between confessing Jesus as Lord and speaking words of curse helps believers discern the authenticity of spiritual expression. It encourages discernment in recognizing the genuine work of the Holy Spirit.

Foundation of Christian Identity: Confessing Jesus as Lord is foundational to Christian identity. It goes beyond doctrinal affirmation to a personal, heartfelt acknowledgment of the lordship of Jesus Christ in one's life.


Romans 10:9-10: "that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes resulting in righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made resulting in salvation." This passage complements the theme of confession and highlights its connection to salvation.

Matthew 16:16: "Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'" Peter's confession in Matthew aligns with the concept of genuine acknowledgment under the influence of divine revelation.

Conclusion: 1 Corinthians 12:3 emphasizes the spiritual dimension of confession and the exclusive role of the Holy Spirit in enabling believers to sincerely proclaim Jesus as Lord. As believers engage in the act of confessing Jesus's lordship, they are reminded of the profound spiritual reality underpinning this declaration—the transformative work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

1 Corinthians 12:3. I make known to you that no man speaking by God’s Spirit says, “Jesus is accursed.” No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” but by the Holy Spirit.


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