1 Corinthians 12
Gifts from God's Spirit
1 My friends, I want you to understand about those gifts that God's Spirit gives to us. 2 You know how you lived in past times. You lived as people who do not know Christ. Things made you, in whatever way, worship idols that cannot speak. 3 I want you to understand me now. If God's Spirit is helping someone, they cannot say: ‘Jesus is bad.’ And, unless God's Spirit is helping them, nobody can really say: ‘Jesus is Lord.’
4 There are different kinds of gifts. But it is the same Spirit who gives them. 5 We serve the Lord in many different ways, but all of us serve the same Lord. 6 Different people can do different things. But the same God gives everything that we need to each of us. He makes us able to work for him as he wants us to do. 7 In each one of us, God shows in certain ways that his Spirit is present in us. He gives certain gifts to each of us so that we can help each other.
8 The Spirit gives to one person a message that causes people to understand something. And he gives to another person a message that causes people to know something. 9 The same Spirit causes another person to believe God strongly. And he gives to someone else gifts to make sick people well. 10 The same Spirit causes another person to do miracles. And he causes another person to speak messages from God. He causes someone else to recognise the differences between different spirits. He causes another person to speak in different kinds of languages. And the same Spirit causes someone else to explain what those languages mean. 11 It is the same Spirit who does all these things. He decides which gifts he will give to each person.
One body with many parts
12 Each person has only one body, but that body has many parts. All those different parts make only one body. And it is like that with Christ too. 13 God baptised all of us by his one Spirit into one body. It made no difference whether we were Jews or not. It made no difference whether we were slaves or free people. God gave his one Spirit to all of us to drink.
14 A person's body does not have only one part. No, it has many parts. 15 If the foot could speak, it might say: ‘I am not a hand, so I do not belong to this body.’ But what it says makes no difference. It is still a part of the body. 16 If the ear could speak, it might say: ‘I am not an eye, so I do not belong to this body.’ But what it says makes no difference. It does still belong to the body. 17 If the whole body was an eye, it could not hear. Or if the whole body was an ear, it could not know about different smells. 18 But God decided where he wanted to put each different part in our bodies.
19 A body is not a body if it has only one part. 20 But there are many parts, and there is one whole body. 21 That is why the eye cannot say to the hand: ‘I do not need you.’ And the head cannot say to the feet: ‘I do not need you.’ 22 No. Even the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are really very necessary. 23 And we are most careful about the parts of our bodies that seem not to be worth very much. And we cover carefully those parts that we do not want people to see. 24 But we do not need to cover the beautiful parts of our bodies. God has put all the parts together in one body and some parts seem not to be worth very much. But God has made those parts more important. 25 So, the parts of the body do not quarrel. All the parts work together so that they help each other. 26 Then if one part of the body hurts, every other part hurts with it. Or perhaps people say that one part is doing well. Then every part is happy.
27 All of you are Christ's body. And each of you is a part of that body. 28 God has put different people in different places in his church. First, there are those people whom God sent to be special workers and leaders on his behalf. Second, there are those people whom God chose to speak his messages. Third, there are those people who are teachers. After that, there are people who do miracles. Then other people have gifts to make sick people well. There are those people who are able to help other people. There are those people who are guides to other people. And there are those people who can speak different kinds of languages.
29 God did not send all of you to be his special workers and leaders. Not all of you can speak his messages. Not all of you are teachers. Not all of you do miracles. 30 Not all of you have gifts to make sick people well. Not all of you can speak in different kinds of languages. Nor can all of you explain what they say in those languages. 31 But it is good if you really want the more important gifts.
Now I will show you a way that is better than any other way.