1 Corinthians 12:1–14:40

Concerning Spiritual Gifts

12 Now about the gifts of the Spirit,z brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.a You know that when you were pagans,b somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.c Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,”d and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,”e except by the Holy Spirit.f

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spiritg distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyoneh it is the same Godi at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.j To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom,k to another a message of knowledgel by means of the same Spirit, to another faithm by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healingn by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers,o to another prophecy,p to another distinguishing between spirits,q to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,a r and to still another the interpretation of tongues.b 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit,s and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Unity and Diversity in the Body

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body,t so it is with Christ.u 13 For we were all baptizedv byc one Spiritw so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or freex—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.y 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.z

15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placeda the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.b 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.c

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ,d and each one of you is a part of it.e 28 And God has placed in the churchf first of all apostles,g second prophets,h third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing,i of helping, of guidance,j and of different kinds of tongues.k 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tonguesd?l Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desirem the greater gifts.

Love Is Indispensable

And yet I will show you the most excellent way.

13 If I speak in the tonguesa n of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecyo and can fathom all mysteriesp and all knowledge,q and if I have a faithr that can move mountains,s but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poort and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,b u but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient,v love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.w It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,x it is not easily angered,y it keeps no record of wrongs.z Love does not delight in evila but rejoices with the truth.b It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.c

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies,d they will cease; where there are tongues,e they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in partf and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes,g what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhoodh behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;i then we shall see face to face.j Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.k

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.l But the greatest of these is love.m

Intelligibility in Worship

14 Follow the way of loven and eagerly desireo gifts of the Spirit,p especially prophecy.q For anyone who speaks in a tonguea r does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them;s they utter mysteriest by the Spirit. But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening,u encouragingv and comfort. Anyone who speaks in a tonguew edifiesx themselves, but the one who prophesiesy edifies the church. I would like every one of you to speak in tongues,b but I would rather have you prophesy.z The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues,c unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.a

Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelationb or knowledgec or prophecy or word of instruction?d Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the pipe or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?e So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker is a foreigner to me.f 12 So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit,g try to excel in those that build uph the church.

13 For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say.i 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays,j but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit,k but I will also pray with my understanding; I will singl with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. 16 Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer,d say “Amen”m to your thanksgiving,n since they do not know what you are saying? 17 You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified.o

18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.p

20 Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children.q In regard to evil be infants,r but in your thinking be adults. 21 In the Laws it is written:

“With other tongues

and through the lips of foreigners

I will speak to this people,

but even then they will not listen to me,t

says the Lord.”e

22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy,u however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?v 24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secretsw of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”x

Good Order in Worship

26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters?y When you come together, each of youz has a hymn,a or a word of instruction,b a revelation, a tonguec or an interpretation.d Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.e 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.

29 Two or three prophetsf should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.g 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.h 33 For God is not a God of disorderi but of peacej—as in all the congregationsk of the Lord’s people.l

34 Womenf should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak,m but must be in submission,n as the lawo says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.g

36 Or did the word of Godp originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks they are a prophetq or otherwise gifted by the Spirit,r let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command.s 38 But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.h

39 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eagert to prophesy,u and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderlyv way.

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