Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. I Corinthians 12:1-3 ESV
[Jesus said:] “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13 ESV
In ancient Greece, there was a great temple to the god Apollo in a place called Delphi, where people could come to consult him and ask his advice. In the temple there was a woman who was called an oracle, and she would go into a trance and give answers to the questions people would bring her. People believed that while the oracle was in a trance the god Apollo spoke through her. However, the words of the oracles at Delphi didn’t always make sense, and they were never really clear, but instead could be interpreted in very different ways. For example, King Croesus once came to ask the oracle if he should go to war with the Persians, and the oracle said that if he did that, a great empire would fall. Croesus thought that this meant the Persians would fall, but when he went to war, his own empire was the one that fell! The oracle hadn’t lied, but she hadn’t been helpful to Croesus or clear in her message.
Paul talked about the days that many of the Corinthians had been pagans, and had believed in idols instead of in the true God. Paul said that these idols were mute, that is, that they couldn’t talk or help the people with their problems. Idols are just statues people make to represent a false god or goddess, and they can only sit silently in their place. The oracle at Delphi might have been making up her words, or she might have used drugs or the gases that came up from a crack in the earth to go into a trance. Apollo and the other gods and goddesses the Corinthians once believed in couldn’t do anything for them, but the Holy Spirit could. The Holy Spirit is the guide to truth and the one who gives us the gift of faith in Jesus. Paul said that no one could really believe in Jesus or say that he is Lord except in the Holy Spirit.
Our God isn’t like mute idols. He speaks to us through his Word, the Bible, and his words are clear and helpful to us. Most importantly, God came and spoke to us through Jesus. Jesus taught us the words of his Heavenly Father, and he showed us God’s will by dying on the cross to save us. Through Jesus we know that God wants us to be his own people, and that he loves us and forgives us every day. We hear the words of God through the Bible, and when we hear and learn what the Bible says, the Holy Spirit gives us the gift of faith and of life forever in Jesus.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us your word and for Jesus, our Savior. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.