1 Corinthians 12:2
You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, even as you were led.
I. THE NEED OF THE SPIRIT'S WORK. It is a matter of needful preliminary consideration, that we dwell upon the guiltiness of our own nature. And no man wants more evidence than that which he finds concurrently upon the page of the Bible and in the volume of his own heart; he has only to look into the former to see what is holy and right and good; he has only to look into the latter in order to see how utterly we have departed therefrom. And this condition is not to be changed by any power which we can set in motion. It is not to be changed by the force of education. It is true that we may train and discipline our children to a certain outward course; we may bind upon them the necessity of maintaining a certain line of conduct, but this has nothing to do with the heart. It is not even by the ordinances of God's appointment that we can ensure the conversion of souls.
II. THE MODE OF THE SPIRIT'S OPERATIONS. It is a marvellous work which is wrought upon the soul of every man who passes from a state of nature into a state of grace. It is a change of desires, hopes, purposes, objects — a new birth. We can trace it by its results; we cannot always trace it by its accomplishment. "The wind bloweth where it listeth," etc. But we are certain that if the effect be really and truly wrought upon any man the results will be manifest. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace," etc. When the evil has been removed, when the hardness has been subdued, when the door of the understanding has been opened to admit the truth of Christianity, and when the door of the heart has been unclosed to all its blessed influences, the man comes to pursue earnestly and diligently those things for which he had once no esteem.
Parallel VersesKJV: Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.