And now, dear brothers and sisters, a I will write about the special abilities the Holy Spirit gives to each of us, for I must correct your misunderstandings about them.
You know that when you were still pagans you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols.
So I want you to know how to discern what is truly from God: No one speaking by the Spirit of God can curse Jesus, and no one is able to say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all.
There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving.
There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us.
A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.
To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another he gives the gift of special knowledge.
The Spirit gives special faith to another, and to someone else he gives the power to heal the sick.
He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and to another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to know whether it is really the Spirit of God or another spirit that is speaking. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, b and another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.
It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ.
Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into Christ's body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit. c14
Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.
If the foot says, "I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand," that does not make it any less a part of the body.
And if the ear says, "I am not part of the body because I am only an ear and not an eye," would that make it any less a part of the body?
Suppose the whole body were an eye -- then how would you hear? Or if your whole body were just one big ear, how could you smell anything?
But God made our bodies with many parts, and he has put each part just where he wants it.
What a strange thing a body would be if it had only one part!
Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.
The eye can never say to the hand, "I don't need you." The head can't say to the feet, "I don't need you."
In fact, some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary.
And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect from the eyes of others those parts that should not be seen,
while other parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together in such a way that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.
This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other equally.
If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
Now all of you together are Christ's body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.
Here is a list of some of the members that God has placed in the body of Christ: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who can get others to work together, those who speak in unknown languages.
Is everyone an apostle? Of course not. Is everyone a prophet? No. Are all teachers? Does everyone have the power to do miracles?
Does everyone have the gift of healing? Of course not. Does God give all of us the ability to speak in unknown languages? Can everyone interpret unknown languages? No!
And in any event, you should desire the most helpful gifts. First, however, let me tell you about something else that is better than any of them!
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)