Issues Related to the Spirit

1 Corinthians 12:1-3

Interpretive Translation: Next, dear family, I do not want you to lack knowledge about how the Spirit works in you when you gather. What you do know is that, when you were not believers, you were directed towards error by pretend deities that can not talk. For this reason I want you to have more knowledge. When a person is being led by God’s Spirit and is speaking they will not repeatedly speak an erroneous message like: “Jesus is just another one of our deities.” Also, it is not possible for someone to say, “Jesus is Yahweh,” unless the Holy Spirit speaks this inside of them first. Every true thought or word about Jesus, in other words, is given to us by the Spirit.

Explanation: Paul introduces his new topic: issues related to the Spirit. In context, it would appear that his topic is focused on such issues as they come up within a gathering of believers. This paragraph is about impacting what the Corinthians “know” about such things. 1) Paul does not want them to lack knowledge. 2) They do know well what their spiritual life was like before conversion. 3) Paul wants them to know how to evaluate when a message comes from the Spirit.  In their previous spiritual life they were led by idols but these idols could not even talk. In their current spiritual life they can discern the authenticity of a message based on whether or not it accurately reflects Jesus. The first “word from the Spirit” -Jesus is Anathema- is not genuinely by the Spirit. Anathema in the context probably means “an idol set up for worship.” This how it is used at times in Greek literature and in the LXX. Some people were saying that Jesus was another idol within their pantheon of gods. (And then most likely blending Jesus worship with idol worship.) Paul says that this is not “by the Spirit.” On the other hand Paul says that a person can not say a true word about Jesus unless it is given to him or her by the Spirit. In this case the word was “Jesus is Lord.” In context this may refer to Jesus being Yahweh, the one true God.

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