1 COR. xii. 1. “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren,
I would not have you ignorant.”
THE original is “spiritual things,” and it is the want of
appreciation of spiritual things that makes men unwilling
to receive spiritual gifts. Not only in heathen lands but in
others there is this ignorance of spiritual things. Worldly
men, whatever they call themselves, have no understand-
ing, or feeling, or appreciation of these things. Even those
who profess to be the guides of the age, and to unfold the
latest discoveries in philosophy, deny that there are any
spiritual influences at work among us. Hence the need
of thinking on the great teaching of the Gospel. Even the
Gospel may be set forth in such a way as to ignore its
spiritual characteristics. Apollos knew only the baptism of
John, and had to be instructed that he might know the
way of God more perfectly.
In many ages of the Church there has been a similar
state of things. It is not above sixty years since, in the
general teaching of the Gospel in this country, there was
almost no allusion to the influence and working of the
Holy Spirit of God.
Even when proclaiming these great truths we may pro-
claim them amiss, and consider that the Holy Spirit is too
much tied to ordinances.
I. No man can even profess Christianity without the
help of the Holy Spirit. The strongest arguments might
not convince a man unless the Holy Spirit of God was at
hand to give force to the argument.
II. There are diversities of gifts, but the same source.
Every man, in the place which he finds assigned to him by
God, has a ministration, especially the ordained ministers
of the Church, and without that Spirit how could we engage
in the work — sinful vessels of no value.
III. If we are to have any real conviction of this
spiritual operation among the people of God for the con-
version of souls, our thoughts must be occupied with things
unseen and eternal. We must think not only of spiritual
gifts, but of the spiritual world.
A. C. Tait, D.D.