1 Corinthians 12 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 What I want to talk about now is the various ways God's Spirit gets worked into our lives. This is complex and often misunderstood, but I want you to be informed and knowledgeable. 1 Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.
2 Remember how you were when you didn't know God, led from one phony god to another, never knowing what you were doing, just doing it because everybody else did it? It's different in this life. God wants us to use our intelligence, to seek to understand as well as we can. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.
3 For instance, by using your heads, you know perfectly well that the Spirit of God would never prompt anyone to say "Jesus be damned!" Nor would anyone be inclined to say "Jesus is Master!" without the insight of the Holy Spirit. 3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
4 God's various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 God's various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
6 God's various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
7 Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
8 The variety is wonderful: wise counsel clear understanding 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,
9 simple trust healing the sick 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,
10 miraculous acts proclamation distinguishing between spirits tongues interpretation of tongues. 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
11 All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
12 You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts - limbs, organs, cells - but no matter how many parts you can name, you're still one body. It's exactly the same with Christ. 12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.
13 By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain - his Spirit - where we all come to drink. The old labels we once used to identify ourselves - labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free - are no longer useful. We need something larger, more comprehensive. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
14 I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn't just a single part blown up into something huge. It's all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. 14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 If Foot said, "I'm not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don't belong to this body," would that make it so? 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.
16 If Ear said, "I'm not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don't deserve a place on the head," would you want to remove it from 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 cease to be part of the body.
17 If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? 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 As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it. 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.
19 But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn't be a body, but a monster. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be?
20 What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, "Get lost; I don't need you"? Or, Head telling Foot, "You're fired; your job has been phased out"? 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 As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way - the "lower" the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
23 When it's a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. 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 If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn't you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair? 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it,
25 The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don't, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
26 the parts we see and the parts we don't. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 You are Christ's body - that's who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your "part" mean anything. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
28 You're familiar with some of the parts that God has formed in his church, which is his "body": apostles prophets teachers miracle workers healers helpers organizers those who pray in tongues. 28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.
29 But it's obvious by now, isn't it, that Christ's church is a complete Body and not a gigantic, unidimensional Part? It's not all Apostle, not all Prophet, not all Miracle Worker, 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
30 not all Healer, not all Prayer in Tongues, not all Interpreter of Tongues. 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues ? Do all interpret?
31 And yet some of you keep competing for so-called "important" parts. But now I want to lay out a far better way for you. 31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.