1 Cor 12:3 - 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.
1 Cor 12:3 is not an easy passage, but my take on it is, Paul was dealing with false teachers in Corinth who were likely contradicting his message and were preying upon the Corinthian's spiritual immaturity. Paul seem to be distinguishing the Holy Spirit’s gifts from pagan religious experiences. It is possible that some of the Corinthians were giving supposed "Spirit-induced utterances" in which they denigrated the physical, historical Jesus in favor of a "spiritual," heavenly Christ (an early form of Gnosticism, a false teaching in the early church that viewed the body as evil and the soul as good)
The pagan background out of which many had come (and some were still coming; cf. 8:10; 10:14, 20–21) did not help them ascertain the presence of false prophets. They were pagans, they had been influenced and led astray to dumb idols (12:2). Paul therefore laid down a simple test related to the person of Christ. Only believers could honestly recognize that Jesus is God. A sneering sinner may mouth the words, but he is not giving a true confession. (Perhaps Paul was referring to things they had said when influenced by the demons prior to conversion.)
“Eternal Security means that those who have been genuinely saved by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone shall never be in danger of God’s condemnation or loss of salvation but God’s grace and power keep them forever saved and secure" (Dennis Rokser, Shall Never Perish Forever, p. 11).
It is possible for a person to just "mouth" the words. A person becomes a believer when he:
- realizes he's a sinner in need of a Savior (PREDICAMENT).
- believes God has provided salvation/redemption through His Son Jesus, and believe that He is fully God, fully man, and He died and rose again (PROVISION).
- The means of securing and obtaining eternal life is faith alone in Christ alone (Genuine PROFESSION). So, faith involves receiving the gift of eternal life and knowing who Jesus is and what He did on the cross. It’s faith in a person—Jesus Christ—combined with faith in what Jesus Christ offers.
I have no doubt whatsoever that the Bible teaches eternal security. Unfortunately, there's a lot of false teaching even in churches, Bible colleges, and seminaries.
Here's 13 arguments Andy Woods gives in his excellent Soteriology (doctrine of salvation) class; these are arguments for eternal security. The arguments below are from Andy's aforementioned class. Sorry these are kind of long, but it is really important.
FIRST ARGUMENT FOR ETERNAL SECURITY. Because self-righteousness did not save us in the first place, it is not a basis upon which salvation can be continued or lost.
SECOND ARGUMENT FOR ETERNAL SECURITY: If God bestows initial salvation without effort, but then requires us to perform to maintain salvation, then salvation is no longer a gift. Salvation is not given or maintained by works. In this class, I’m certainly not minimizing holiness, but I’m saying that those maintaining a holy life is not a basis upon which you can boost your salvation, if it was, then it’s a doctrine of works. As we’ve discussed before, the Bible clearly teaches we’re not saved by works. See Ephesians 2:8-9 and Isaiah 64:6.
THIRD ARGUMENT FOR ETERNAL SECURITY. If a believer or if a Christian can lose his or her salvation, then eternal life is no longer eternal. Many passages teach that once you receive the free gift of God it is, in fact, eternal life (John 3:16, John 5:24, 1 John 5:13). The same Greek word in these verses translated as “eternal” (aioniōs) is used for God’s nature (an example is in Romans 16:26). Since God is eternal/forever, then the life in God that He gives you, by definition, has to last forever and it’s impossible to lose something that’s eternal. There cannot be a termination point if someone has really received eternal life any more than there can be a termination point in God Himself.
FOURTH ARGUMENT FOR ETERNAL SECURITY. If a believer can lose salvation, then it makes the Bible’s promises untrue. There are some things God can’t do; He can’t do things that contradict His nature and He can’t lie and misrepresent. See Numbers 23:19; Romans 3:4; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18; 10:23.
FIFTH ARGUMENT FOR ETERNAL SECURITY. If eternal security is not a reality, then the assurance of salvation is impossible. Many churches do teach eternal security, but they’ll say you can’t really know if you have salvation or not and they claim if you’re one of the elect, you have eternal security, but you really don’t know if you’re one of the elect, because the proof of being one of the elect is persevering to the end of your life. So, they’re teaching eternal security, but at the same time they’re denying what we would call the assurance of salvation, which is the idea that the Christian can know that they have eternal security. We teach the idea that once saved always saved. And beyond that, we teach the idea that you can actually know that you have this salvation; it’s not a guessing game.
SIXTH ARGUMENT FOR ETERNAL SECURITY. The believer is predestined for glory.
See Romans 8:29-30 – in these verses Paul articulates the various phases of our salvation. Take note of the past tenses of the verbs: foreknew, predestined, called, justified, and glorified. There are things about us that are legally true, even though they factually haven’t been accomplished yet. From God’s standpoint. we’re legally glorified already, de jure, even though de facto it hasn’t yet been accomplished. Our glory is so certain that it’s spoken of in the past tense in the Bible.
SEVENTH ARGUMENT FOR ETERNAL SECURITY. The Spirit’s seal cannot be broken (Ephesians 4:30), so if a Christian can lose his salvation, then the Holy Spirit has failed in His sealing ministry. When the Spirit of God placed the seal on us, signifying that we belong to God; we are His property.
EIGHTH ARGUMENT FOR ETERNAL SECURITY. If a Christian can lose his salvation, then God has failed in His intention to keep or protect us (see 1 Peter 1:3-6
NINTH ARGUMENT FOR ETERNAL SECURITY. If Christians can lose their salvation, then Jesus can fail in His ministries as our intercessor and advocate (John 17:11-12; Rom 8:34 36; Heb 7:24-25; 1 Jn 2:1).
TENTH ARGUMENT FOR ETERNAL SECURITY. Christ’s death perfectly dealt with all sins. If a Christian can lose his salvation and go to hell because of some sin, then Jesus Christ’s atonement must not have perfectly dealt with all sins, which is of course untrue. Some people mistakenly looking at/focusing on personal sin in their lives instead of looking at the Son, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:14; Ps 103:12).
ELEVENTH ARGUMENT FOR ETERNAL SECURITY. If a believer can lose their salvation, then they can become removed from Christ’s body (1 Cor 12:13).
TWELFTH ARGUMENT FOR ETERNAL SECURITY. The Bible never specifies which sin or sins removes salvation. If salvation could be lost by something we do or some sin we commit, wouldn’t the Bible say we should stay away from that particular sin? The reason the Bible never says stay away from that one, is because there is no sin you can commit that can undo your salvation. Later on, in our class, we’ll talk about the unpardonable sin. We can’t commit this sin, but it pertains to national Israel in the first century rejecting the offer of the Kingdom (which occur in the future during the 1000-year Millennium).
THIRTEENTH ARGUMENT FOR ETERNAL SECURITY. Believers with unfruitful lives still have salvation although lose rewards at the Bema Seat (1 Corinthians 3:15). What about a person who’s a believer in Jesus Christ and they don’t have any real fruit (they have an unfruitful life). Two options: either the person has never trusted in Christ, like Judas (Mark 14:18), or the person is a believer in an extreme state of carnality where there is a lack of fruit because of their carnality. We encourage people (in this second category), through progressive sanctification, to grow in their faith under God’s resources. Of course, we have no way of knowing for sure which category somebody is in, but we just need to be faithful with what God has called us to do rather than be worried about everybody else.