Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 12

A test for evil spirits

1 Corinthians 12:3

There is great interest today in the power of spirits. However, many people have not understood that many spirits are evil. The actions of those spirits are completely opposite from the work of Godís Holy Spirit.

Here, Paul gives a simple test to show whether a person is speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit always gives honour to Jesus. So, whenever a person gives honour to Jesus as their Lord (master and God), the Holy Spirit has helped that person to do that.

The Holy Spirit never opposes Jesus, because there is only one God, Father, Son and Spirit. So whenever anyone says evil things about Jesus, that person cannot be speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is the nature of evil spirits to lie. Such spirits often cause people to say things that are not sincere. That explains why people sometimes seem to say good things by the power of evil spirits. For example, see Luke 4:34 and Acts 16:17. Luke 4:41 shows Jesusí reaction to this behaviour. Those evil spirits were not trying to give honour to Jesus. Instead, they were trying to attract attention for themselves. We see that also in the loud shouts and wild behaviour of people whom evil spirits controlled. When spirits attract attention for themselves, they take attention away from Jesus.

So, although evil spirits may seem to give honour to Jesus, that is never the reality. When someone insults Jesus, those evil words never come from the Holy Spirit. And a person can only give honour to Jesus with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Next part: The one God works in many different ways (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.