1 Corinthians 12
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 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 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].