1 Corinthians 12:2
You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, even as you were led.
I. THE TRUTH THAT JESUS IS THE LORD. The man Jesus for thirty-three years acted as a man in connection with men, and at last died. This man is the Lord. The word he uses is almost invariably the translation of Jehovah in the LXX., a version in common use among the apostles. Now if Paul, as a Jew, called Jesus Jehovah, he must have demanded for Him all those attributes which his nation was wont to associate with that name; and that he did claim these attributes for Jesus no candid and qualified reader of his sermons and epistles can doubt.
II. THIS TREMENDOUS TRUTH IS SO TRANSCENDENT THAT IT CANNOT BE ACCEPTED WITHOUT DIVINE HELP. No man of himself can affirm it — can state it as the natural conviction of his judgment. When you tell me that Jesus was born, lived, taught, and died, I understand you; for you have narrated a natural event; but when you tell me that Jesus is the great God, you transport me from the sphere of intelligible statement and testimony into wonderland. I do not mean that the Godhead of Christ is naturally inconceivable, but simply that the doctrine is above me. I cannot say that Jesus is God unless you add some other power to my mind, or stimulate to an unnatural intensity the powers I have. St. Paul affirms that no man can: and if St. Paul had not affirmed it we should have found it out. The history of controversy has repeated it in every age. Modern philosophers maintain this in a spirit of boasting, ill concealed beneath an affectation of scientific certainty; as if it had been left for them to discover; whereas Paul asserted it from the first. And he has described this temper of mind with as much candour and accuracy as if he had been a philosopher himself! "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God," etc.; neither can he know them. The natural men have been unconsciously repeating Paul's words from his day to ours. Now there is a portion of this wonderful truth which is historic — the works and the resurrection of Jesus. These were visible facts, and might be supposed to lie within the realm of observation and testimony. But see how the natural men treat them — as they dare not treat any other history. They first say that Jesus cannot be God, and then they read the gospels to explain away New Testament facts. I do not blame these men because they are unable to say that Jesus is the Lord, any more than I would rate a blind man for not knowing the sun; but I should censure the blind man if he declared there was no sun because he could not see it.
III. THE EVIDENCE BY WHICH THIS GRAND TRUTH CAN BE AFFIRMED. The internal persuasion of the Holy Ghost. This leads us at once into the region of the supernatural. Here we part company with the wise, and the scribe, and the disputer of this world. Here we speak in parables to them that are without. The Spirit is the author of the expression or manifestation of the Christian religion. The lips of prophets were touched, and the pens of scribes were moved, by Him; the holy child Jesus was conceived by Him; the dispensing of the glad tidings, that that child was a light to lighten the Gentiles, was entrusted to Him. Now, the first step towards the confession of the Godhead of Christ is the conviction of sin by the Holy Ghost. The misery following such a conviction of sin will make a man strive against it, and learn by bitter failures his helplessness. When I preach Jesus to a man in this state, with his self-despair and his eager cries for help, he not only sees no difficulty in accepting the Godhead of Christ, but he grasps it as the only truth that can give him comfort. He wants a God-mediator because he has sinned against God. He must take his forgiveness from Him against whom he has sinned; and, being pardoned, he must render Him the full and loyal service of his heart and life. That which makes Jesus our final resting-place is His Godhead: that which gives an omnipotent potency to His blood is His equality with the Father. How easy for those whom the Holy Ghost has convinced of sin, and who have imagined under the tyranny of its power what a counter-power that must be which could redeem us from it — how easy for such to admit that Jesus is God!
(E. E. Jenkins, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.