Regarding 1 John 4: 2-3,
“By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God;”
and 1 Corinthians 12:3,
“Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit;”
how do you understand these verses?
Thanks for your inquiry. These are intriguing verses.
First John 4 addresses testing the spirits to discern what or who is of God. The verses you cite comprise the first test. When the Holy Spirit is involved, He leads to a right view toward Jesus Christ.
The terminology Jesus Christ highlights Jesus as the Messiah. This implies Jesus as God. Some religions acknowledge Jesus as a human, but not as divine. Others deny Jesus as taking on human flesh. The Holy Spirit, however, testifies to Jesus as both God and man. Philippians 2 provides the way this occurred through Jesus setting aside the reputation and use of the attributes of deity in order to become fully man while never setting aside or diminishing His deity.
First Corinthians 12:3 affirms. When the Holy Spirit is involved, He leads people to a right view toward Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit never leads anyone to denigrate Jesus, and those who would denigrate Him in the name of “God” are grossly deceived. The Holy Spirit testifies of and glorifies the Son (John 15:26; 16:14).
In salvation, the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment in relation to Jesus (John 16:8-11). In discipleship, the Holy Spirit leads believers to yield to the lordship of Christ even in matters like spiritual gifts (which is the context of the verse you cite from 1 Corinthians 12).
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