“Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” (1 Cor. 12:3)
Understanding spiritual truths is significant because a part of modern day Christian faith and practice is to get people to be less informed, less rational, and more emotional. John Wimber understood that fear of losing self-control is very threatening to most Western Christians. Wimber did not see this fear of losing self-control as a virtue, because he believed that rational control prevents tongue speaking, and soaring ecstatic sensations.
No matter what the criticism may be, the Christian must never surrender the Law of the Sound Mind. God wants His people to be of a sound mind, a sober mind. God wants spiritual men of maturity to be sober minded. “That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.” (Titus 2:2) A sound mind, a sober mind, is a mind which understands Bible doctrine and is submissive to the Word of God. Understanding should characterize every Christian.
What Paul would have the Corinthians understand, is that though they had once been led astray, now they worship Jesus. What can explain their radical transition from dumb idols to Christ, except that God worked a work of grace in their hearts and delivered them from the kind of sin that caused them to be led astray?
The larger point Paul is making is that it was not nature that provided the Corinthians with their spiritual gifts, but God, in His gracious kindness. Evidence for God’s grace is found in the fact that Jesus was no longer called accursed, but He was called Lord, by the Holy Spirit.
A person who is truly born again cannot curse Christ. Polycarp was the Bishop of Smyrna. He was arrested for his faith in Jesus. The demand was made by the proconsul, Statius Quadratus, for Polycarp to swear by the godhood of Caesar and blaspheme Christ. Polycarp refused saying, “Eighty and six years have I served Christ and He has never done me wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” Polycarp did the death of a martyr.
In contrast to Polycarp, is Judas Iscariot. We read that at the Last Supper, Judas asked Jesus, “Rabbi, is it I that shall betray Thee?” No man can call Jesus Lord except by the Holy Spirit. The other disciples called Jesus Lord, that night. Judas called Him, Rabbi.
Can the unconverted person call Jesus Lord of his own free will? No, that is not possible, for the free will of the natural man is enslaved to sin. The will is in bondage to the Law of Sin and Death. No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, except by power and grace of the Holy Ghost. The source of a person’s faith does not come from themselves, but from God the Holy Spirit. That is sovereign grace. The Sovereign’s grace is that grace which truly rules in our salvation. God’s grace is not shared with man’s will. It is God who reveals Christ to our hearts through His Spirit, “for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Cor. 2:10 God’s grace is needed because men are not willing to come to Christ. That is what Jesus said. “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” (John 5:40)