Not Everyone Can Say That!

Not Everyone Can Say That!

Pastor Don Carpenter

Connected! / 1 Corinthians 12:1–3

The world is in a crisis of confusion concerning the character and the nature of God. Just as paganism and polytheism tainted the ancient Near Eastern world, our society is influenced by corrupted views of God. The names have changed, but the false gods they represented have not. Instead of Baal, we have new age philosophy; instead of the Sun god Ra, we have Eastern Mysticism, with its worship of Creation; instead of Asherah, we have the worship of supermodels and the sexuality they represent. Instead of idols made of silver, gold and wood, we have consumerism, materialism, humanism, yoga, meditation, and a host of other philosophies that draw from the same cesspool of idolatry represented by the gods of the Canaanites.”

“Like the prophets of Scripture, our task as spiritual leaders is to call the people away from the confusion polytheism to the clarity of monotheistic God of Scripture. Like Elijah on Mount Carmel, we are called to challenge people to choose between the God of the Bible and the gods of the culture”.

Source: Glenn C. Daman, Leading the Small Church: How to Develop a Transformational Ministry, pp. 105, 106.

Local churches must shine the light of Jesus Christ and the Gospel in this sin cursed world. Just as the ancient world needed the Church at Corinth to stand against the religious confusion of their day, Torrington needs Evangelical Baptist Church to shine brightly, exposing the religious confusion of our day.  

This morning we are launching a new series about our role in the local church entitled: “Connected”.  In the next few weeks we are going to discover God’s plan for believers to unite and reach a lost and confused world. We will discover things that we share in common. We will discover things that make us unique among the believers. We will discover that we have all been called into a local assembly. We will see that each local assembly is a physical manifestation of the Body of Christ. Most of all we will discover that as believers in Jesus, we are all CONNECTED.

1 Corinthians is a letter written to a well meaning, but wayward church in Corinth. Their two biggest struggles were Christian unity and misuse and misunderstanding of Spiritual gifts. In Chapter 12, the Apostle Paul tackles both issues. He will demonstrate that it is the understanding of how and why Spiritual Gifts are given that will show that we are designed to function as a united Body.

Today, much like the time this letter was written, our society does not want for religion. There are common misconceptions that abound.  

“God is the Father of us all. There are many paths to the same God. God grades on intent and motives, not on strict doctrinal truths.” 

All of these false teachings are corrected when we understand our role as believers. This morning we are going to discover what unites us as believers and what divides us fun unbelievers is what we can correctly claim about our relationships. We will see some things we can declare as believers and we will see that “Not Everyone Can Say That”.

We Are Brothers

1 Corinthians 12:1 KJV

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

Adopted to and from the same family

John 8:44 KJV

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Romans 8:15 KJV

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

The Possession of Spiritual Gifts is a Family Trait

1 Corinthians 12:4 KJV

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

1 Peter 4:10 KJV

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Ephesians 4:7 KJV

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Ephesians 4:8 KJV

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

Notice that in the text of your Bible the word gifts is in italics, which means that that word is not in the original. It was added for the sake of clarity; but, very frankly, I don’t think adding the word clarified anything. Actually, it has added confusion. In The Revised Standard Version it is spiritual gifts; in The New English Bible it is gifts of the Spirit; in The Berkeley Translation it is spiritual endowments. The Scofield Reference Bible has a good footnote about this.

The Greek word is pneumatika, which literally means “spiritualities.” It is in contrast to carnalities. One does not need to add the word “gifts.” Back in the third chapter Paul was discussing the divisions among the Corinthian believers, and he wrote, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1). That first section is about carnalities because their questions were about carnalities and the things that carnal Christians would be interested in. The carnalities had to do with their divisions, their wrangling about different leaders, about adultery, about going to court against a brother, the sex problem, women’s dress and men’s haircuts, the love feast, gluttony and drunkenness at the Lord’s Supper. That is all carnality, and we can find the same things in the church today. The section on carnalities was corrective.

Now we come to the section on spiritualities, and this is constructive. Paul was glad to change the subject; I think he heaved a sigh of relief when he got here to chapter 12. He was willing to discuss the other problems with them, but he really wanted to talk to them about the spiritualities.

The modern church needs to change the same old subjects which are discussed. In a very sophisticated manner Christian educators say that we should tell our young people about sex. Friend, we had better tell them about spiritual things. There are so many programs in the churches that the young people never get anywhere near the Bible. They have conferences on whatever carnality is the popular issue or the fad for the moment. All of that is a sign of carnality.

In this section Paul will touch on three subjects: the unifying Spirit, the law of love, and the triumph the believer has in the Resurrection. The gifts of the Spirit just happen to be one of the spiritualities, by the way1

1 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: The Epistles (1 Corinthians), electronic ed., vol. 44 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 136–137.

We WERE Gentiles/Pagans

1 Corinthians 12:2 KJV

Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

Carried Away

When they were lost, they were under the control of the demons (1 Cor. 10:20) and were led astray (“carried away,” 1 Cor. 12:2). But now the Spirit of God lived in them and directed them.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 607.

1 Corinthians 10:20 KJV

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

Speechless idols… senseless objects

Habakkuk 2:18–19 KJV

What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; The molten image, and a teacher of lies, That the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? 

Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, And there is no breath at all in the midst of it.

Led by deceivers under demonic influence.

2 Corinthians 11:13–15 KJV

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 

Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

All That Is In The Past

Ephesians 2:1–2 KJV

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

We Have The Spirit of God

Romans 8:9 KJV

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

1 Corinthians 3:16 KJV

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Therefore we CANNOT call Jesus Cursed.

 1 Corinthians 12:3 (KJV)

 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed…

This is a very interesting passage, because it gives us two phrases which were battle cries.

(1) There is the phrase Accursed be Jesus. There could be four ways in which this terrible phrase might arise.

(a) It would be used by the Jews. The synagogue prayers regularly included a cursing of all those who had renounced their faith; and Jesus would fall into that category. Further, as Paul knew so well (Galatians 3:13), the Jewish law laid it down: ‘Anyone hung on a tree is under God’s curse’ (Deuteronomy 21:23). And Jesus had been cruci?ed. It would not be unusual to hear the Jews pronouncing their anathemas on this heretic and criminal whom the Christians worshipped.

(b) It is by no means unlikely that the Jews would make Jewish converts who were attracted by Christianity pronounce this curse or suffer excommunication from all Jewish worship. When Paul was telling Agrippa about his persecuting days, he said: ‘By punishing them often in all the synagogues I tried to force them to blaspheme’ (Acts 26:11). It must often have been a condition of remaining within the synagogue that a man should pronounce a curse on Jesus Christ.

(c) Whatever was true when Paul was writing, it is certainly true that later on, in the terrible days of persecution, Christians were compelled either to curse Christ or to die. In the time of Trajan, it was the test of Pliny, governor of Bithynia, to demand that a person accused of being a Christian should curse Christ. When Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, was arrested, the demand of the proconsul Statius Quadratus was: ‘Say: “Away with the atheists,” swear by the godhead of Caesar, and blaspheme Christ.’ And it was the great answer of the aged bishop: “Eighty and six years have I served Christ, and he has never done me wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” There certainly came a time when people were confronted with the choice of cursing Christ or facing death.

(d) There was the possibility that, even in the Church, someone, half-mad with frenzy, might cry out: ‘Accursed be Jesus.’ In that hysterical atmosphere, anything might happen and be claimed to be the work of the Spirit. Paul lays it down that no one can say a word against Christ and attribute it to the in?uence of the Spirit.1

1 William Barclay, The Letters to the Corinthians, 3rd ed., The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 125–126.

Therefore we CAN call Jesus Lord.

 1 Corinthians 12:3 (KJV)

 …and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Beside this, there is the Christian battle cry Jesus is Lord. In so far as the early Church had a creed at all, that simple phrase was it (cf. Philippians 2:11). The word for Lord was kurios, and it was a tremendous word. It was the of?cial title of the Roman emperor. The demand of the persecutors was always: ‘Say: “Caesar is Lord [kurios].” ’ It was the word by which the sacred name Yahweh was rendered in the Greek translation of the Old Testament Scriptures. When people could say ‘Jesus is Lord,’ it meant that they gave to Jesus the supreme loyalty of their lives and the supreme worship of their hearts.

It is to be noted that Paul believed that it was possible to say ‘Jesus is Lord’ only when the Spirit enabled someone to say it. The Lordship of Jesus was not so much something which people discovered for themselves as something which God, in his grace, revealed to them.1

1 William Barclay, The Letters to the Corinthians, 3rd ed., The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 126.

 • Therefore we can say that Jesus is the Lord

  • The spiritual / theological understanding of who Jesus is.

  • The personal submission to the authority Jesus has. To say Jesus is Lord is to imply He is YOUR Lord.

  • Only saved folks who possess the Holy Spirit can truly say Jesus is Lord.

  • Not all saved folks always act as if Jesus is Lord, but they can if they choose to.

It is only through the Spirit that a person can honestly say, “Jesus is Lord.” A sneering sinner may mouth the words, but he is not giving a true confession. (Perhaps Paul was referring to things they had said when influenced by the demons prior to conversion.) It is important to note that the believer is always in control of himself when the Holy Spirit is at work (1 Cor. 14:32) because Jesus Christ the Lord is in charge. Any so-called “Spirit manifestation” that robs a person of self-control is not of God; for “the fruit of the Spirit is … self-control” (Gal. 5:22–23, nasb).

If Jesus Christ truly is Lord in our lives, then there should be unity in the church. Division and dissension among God’s people only weakens their united testimony to a lost world (John 17:20–21).

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 607.

So those of us who have trusted Jesus as personal Savior have been united in the things we can say.

 • We can call each other Brother or Sister.

 • We can say that our Pagan thinking is in the past.

 • We can say Jesus is Lord!

Not Everyone Can Say That

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:44 AM July 29, 2021.

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