1 Corinthians 12:2
You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, even as you were led.
I. WHAT PROGRESS MAY BE MADE IN THE STUDY AND USE OF SCRIPTURE WITHOUT THE SPECIAL INFLUENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
1. It is obvious that, without such special influence of the Spirit of God, it is possible to arrive at a merely speculative belief in the truth of Scripture. Men of keen faculties in other pursuits do not forfeit them on approaching the Word of God.
2. It is possible for an individual, without the special influence of the Holy Spirit, to obtain a general acquaintance with the contents of the sacred volume. The strongest eye will make the largest discoveries.
3. It is possible, without the special influence of the Holy Spirit, to feel the highest admiration for parts of the sacred volume.
4. Such an individual may proceed clearly and strikingly to display the contents of the sacred volume to others. He may be a man of lively imagination, and conjure up the most attractive images for the illustration of the truth. He may be a master in composition and therefore able to describe forcibly what he sees distinctly. But, nevertheless, all these powers and faculties may be called into action without the operation of any principle of piety, and therefore without the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit on the soul.
II. WHAT IS THAT KNOWLEDGE AND USE OF SCRIPTURE OF WHICH THE HOLY GHOST MUST BE CONSIDERED AS THE EXCLUSIVE AUTHOR.
1. It is by the Holy Spirit we are led to make a personal application of the holy Scripture to our own case.
2. It is the Spirit of God alone who endears the promises of Scripture to the heart. They nominally called Christ "Lord" before, but they now use the expression in a higher and more appropriate sense. They are entirely His. They "yield their members as instruments of righteousness" to Him.
3. It is the Holy Spirit alone who brings the Word of God effectually to bear upon the temper and conduct. As soon as this new influence is felt on the soul our chains begin to drop from us.Conclusions:
1. Let the text teach us not to confound the results of our natural powers with the fruits of the Spirit.
2. Let the text teach us the transcendent importance of seeking habitually and devoutly the presence and influence of the Spirit of God.
3. If He does not lead us to "say that Jesus is the Lord" — to acknowledge Him, practically and spiritually, as our Redeemer, our Saviour, our Teacher, our Example — the whole of Scripture is as to us a dead letter, and we have "received the grace of God in vain."
(J. W. Cunningham.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.