Paul takes chapter twelve to discuss the gifts that the Spirit of God gives to the church. But he begins by contrasting it with the idols of the Corinthians’ old faith. Paul writes:
You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols…
The way that Paul contrasts the old and the new, dark and light, death and life is powerful. Here is contrasts that which speaks and that which is mute.
I think we are reminded all the more about the way the Spirit that dwells in us speaks when we think back to past ways. The church in Corinth, in following after false religion, worshipped idols. Already Paul has discussed how these idols and so-called gods have no real existence. So when we think to the way the Spirit manifests himself in us, it is not like anything from the pagan practices. Those idols were mute. There is no way those idols were going to speak through the people. But that is not what we have now. The living God has sent us his Spirit and by the Spirit we speak. God has not sent us his Spirit to remain idle and mute in the church. The Holy Spirit in us is the only way that we can make our confession of faith, only by the Spirit can we say, “Jesus is Lord.”