Bible Question:

Can you explain what I Corinthians 12:3 means when it says that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost? I have heard people that I'm sure are unsaved call Jesus Lord.

Bible Answer:

A spy for a foreign government has a curious job. He pretends to be something he is not. He can never take a vacation and return to his real self because he runs the risk of being discovered. He must always pretend to be someone else until he retires. Man can deceive man, but man cannot deceive God. 1 Corinthians 12:3 is talking about the real person the heart attitude and desires of a man or woman.

Therefore I make known to you, that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. (NASB) 1 Corinthians 12:3

This passage is not talking about one who simply says the words “Jesus is Lord” but about someone who really means these words. The passage is talking about people who mean what they say. The demons know that Jesus is Lord.

And seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, “What do I have to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.” (NASB) Luke 8:28

But they are unwilling to submit to Him as Lord. To say that Jesus is Lord in the sense of 1 Cor. 12:3 means that you have submitted your life to Jesus. It means He is the Lord or the master of your life


Some day, everyone will bow the knee to Jesus and admit that He is Lord, just as the demons in Luke 8:28.

Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NASB) Philippians 2:9-11

Jesus is Lord! But is He your Lord now?