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1 Corinthians 12

12
The different functions of the Spirit
1Now as to the phenomena of your faith which show in a special way the presence of God and the action of the Spirit. Recollect this Spirit is one. Many of you are moved far beyond your ordinary capacity, and do things which in your own strength would be utterly impossible to you, — you prophesy, teach, heal, speak with tongues, and perform wonders, marvels — and this is not yourselves, it is the Spirit by which you are possessed. 2But recollect, my brethren, there is nothing in this similar to those possessions by spirits you were once familiar with in the old religions. At one time that worship was part of your life. You were carried away willy-nilly as you were led in the service of these dumb idols. 3-5And because this type of worship was so familiar to you, I bid you remember that, if anyone is possessed and cries out a curse on Jesus, such possession you will know comes not from God, whilst on the other hand to acknowledge Jesus as Lord can never be done except by those to whom the Spirit has been imparted. Now this Spirit, as I say, is one, absolutely one, throughout all its manifestations, and that is why all those phenomena which represent to us its operations are so mutually harmonious and complementary. 6-8One man may evidence one kind of gift or service, one man's sphere of usefulness or inspiration may differ entirely from another's, but he will not differ in the spirit.
The oneness of the Spirit
9It is the same Spirit, the same Lord, the same God which imparts, ordains, inspires, possesses. 10The word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, faith, gifts of healing, inspiration and genius, prophecy, spiritual insight and discernment, tongues and the interpretation of tongues — 11these all proceed in varying degrees displayed by different individuals from the one infinite Spirit. He, that Spirit, is all in all, and one, and all these gifts are constituted in His action and operation. 12The Christ is as it were one infinite body, wherein all the parts and members are mutually helpful and interdependent. 13In the unity of the same organism there cannot be inharmonious contradictory parts. 14-16Hand cannot say to foot, I have no need of you. Ear and eye are different members and have different functions, but what if the ear said to the eye, “because I am different from you, we belong to different bodies,” would it be true? And so all of us were baptised into one vast body, the infinite Christ, — Jews, Greeks, slaves, and free — and we all drank the wine of the one Spirit. Hence these different gifts, functions and offices which operate in us. This very variety constitutes the essential being of the Spirit, because the Spirit includes all. 17If the body were all eye, where would the hearing be? If it were all ear, where would the eyebrow be? 18-21Every part is beautifully formed to assist and be complementary to the others; none is otiose, negligible or useless, 22but on the contrary those very parts which are held in least honour often have the most important functions, 23-25and the visible parts of the body which form its beauty are the most dependent on the organs which are not seen and are less esteemed. 26If one member suffer, all suffer with it, and no one part of the body can be affected, for good or ill, without all the others feeling it. 27So is it in that infinite spiritual body of the Christ, which we together constitute, of which we are all members. 28Whether in the church there be those that are called apostles, prophets, teachers, healers, helpers, officers, speakers with tongues — what is this but the activity of one life? 29Because it is one thing, all are not therefore apostles, nor all prophets, nor all teachers, 30nor all healers, nor all speakers with tongues, nor all interpreters. 31True, some gifts are greater than others, and it is right to wish for the greatest gifts of all, and in that respect, I will point out to you a way that is better than all others.
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The Use of Spiritual Gifts
1Now about the spiritual gifts [the special endowments given by the Holy Spirit], brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2You know that when you were pagans, you were led off after speechless idols; however you were led off [whether by impulse or habit]. 3Therefore I want you to know that no one speaking by the [power and influence of the] Spirit of God can say, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is [my] Lord,” except by [the power and influence of] the Holy Spirit.
4Now there are [distinctive] varieties of spiritual gifts [special abilities given by the grace and extraordinary power of the Holy Spirit operating in believers], but it is the same Spirit [who grants them and empowers believers]. 5And there are [distinctive] varieties of ministries and service, but it is the same Lord [who is served]. 6And there are [distinctive] ways of working [to accomplish things], but it is the same God who produces all things in all believers [inspiring, energizing, and empowering them]. 7But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit [the spiritual illumination and the enabling of the Holy Spirit] for the common good. 8To one is given through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] the message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] the word of knowledge and understanding according to the same Spirit; 9to another [wonder-working] faith [is given] by the same [Holy] Spirit, and to another the [extraordinary] gifts of healings by the one Spirit; 10and to another the working of #I.e. wonderful events or occurrences beyond human capability which manifest the supernatural power of God and fulfill His purpose.miracles, and to another prophecy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people], and to another discernment of spirits [the ability to distinguish sound, godly doctrine from the deceptive doctrine of man-made religions and cults], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, and to another interpretation of tongues. 11All these things [the gifts, the achievements, the abilities, the empowering] are brought about by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, distributing to each one individually just as He chooses.
12For just as the body is one and yet has many parts, and all the parts, though many, form [only] one body, so #Lit is Christ.it is with Christ. 13For by one [Holy] Spirit we were all baptized into one body, [spiritually transformed—united together] whether Jews or Greeks (Gentiles), slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one [Holy] Spirit [since the same Holy Spirit fills each life].
14For the [human] body does not consist of one part, but of many [limbs and organs]. 15If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” is it not on the contrary still a part of the body? 16If the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” is it not on the contrary still a part of the body? 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole [body] were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But now [as things really are], God has placed and arranged the parts in the body, each one of them, just as He willed and saw fit [with the best balance of function]. 19If they all were a single organ, where would [the rest of] the body be? 20But now [as things really are] there are many parts [different limbs and organs], but a single body. 21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22But quite the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are [absolutely] necessary; 23and as for those parts of the body which we consider less honorable, these we treat with greater honor; and our less presentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24while our more presentable parts do not require it. But God has combined the [whole] body, giving greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25so that there would be no division or discord in the body [that is, lack of adaptation of the parts to each other], but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. 26And if one member suffers, all the parts share the suffering; if one member is honored, all rejoice with it.
27Now you [collectively] are Christ’s body, and individually [you are] members of it [each with his own special purpose and function]. 28So God has appointed and placed in the church [for His own use]: first apostles [chosen by Christ], second prophets [those who foretell the future, those who speak a new message from God to the people], third teachers, then those who work miracles, then those with the gifts of healings, the helpers, the administrators, and speakers in various kinds of [unknown] tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31But earnestly desire and strive for the greater gifts [if acquiring them is going to be your goal].
And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one of the choicest graces and the highest of them all: unselfish love].