Gifts from the Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 12
1Now, brothers and sisters, I want you to understand about spiritual gifts.
2You know the way you lived before you were believers. You let yourselves be
influenced and led away to worship idols—things that could not speak. 3So I
want you to understand that no one who is speaking with the help of God’s Spirit
says, “Jesus be cursed.” And no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” without the help of
the Holy Spirit.
4There are different kinds of gifts, but they are all from the same Spirit.
5There are different ways to serve but the same Lord to serve. 6And there are
different ways that God works through people but the same God. God works in
all of us in everything we do. 7Something from the Spirit can be seen in each
person, for the common good. 8The Spirit gives one person the ability to speak
with wisdom, and the same Spirit gives another the ability to speak with
knowledge. 9The same Spirit gives faith to one person. And, to another, that one
Spirit gives gifts of healing. 10The Spirit gives to another person the power to do
miracles, to another the ability to prophesy. And he gives to another the ability to
know the difference between good and evil spirits. The Spirit gives one person
the ability to speak in different kinds of languages and to another the ability to
interpret those languages. 11One Spirit, the same Spirit, does all these things, and
the Spirit decides what to give each person.
The Body of Christ Works Together
12A person’s body is only one thing, but it has many parts. Though there are
many parts to a body, all those parts make only one body. Christ is like that also.
13Some of us are Jews, and some are Greeks. Some of us are slaves, and some are
free. But we were all baptized into one body through one Spirit. And we were all
made to share in the one Spirit.
14The human body has many parts. 15The foot might say, “Because I am not a
hand, I am not part of the body.” But saying this would not stop the foot from
being a part of the body. 16The ear might say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not
part of the body.” But saying this would not stop the ear from being a part of the
body. 17If the whole body were an eye, it would not be able to hear. If the whole
body were an ear, it would not be able to smell. 18-19If each part of the body were
the same part, there would be no body. But truly God put all the parts, each one
of them, in the body as he wanted them. 20So then there are many parts, but only
21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot
say to the foot, “I don’t need you!” 22No! Those parts of the body that seem to be
the weaker are really necessary. 23And the parts of the body we think are less are
the parts to which we give the most honor. We give special respect to the parts
we want to hide. 24The more respectable parts of our body need no special care.
But God put the body together and gave more honor to the parts that need it 25so
our body would not be divided. God wanted the different parts to care the same
for each other. 26If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it.
Or if one part of our body is honored, all the other parts share its honor.
27Together you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of that
body. 28In the church God has given a place first to apostles, second to prophets,
and third to teachers. Then God has given a place to those who do miracles, those
who have gifts of healing, those who can help others, those who are able to
govern, and those who can speak in different languages. 29Not all are apostles.
Not all are prophets. Not all are teachers. Not all do miracles. 30Not all have gifts
of healing. Not all speak in different languages. Not all interpret those languages.
31But you should truly want to have the greater gifts.
Love Is the Greatest Gift
And now I will show you the best way of all.
The Holy Bible, New Century Version
The Corinthians compared spiritual gifts and ministries. They rated a person's value to the church by that persons gifts.
All spiritual gifts are equally valuable to the church. But love is even greater than all of them combined.
Paul used the metaphor of the body to illustrate the interdependence of individual Christians (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). When one part of our physical body suffers, the other parts suffer; when one part accomplishes its duty, it is always a cooperative
This interdependence results in a cooperative concern for the various parts of the body.... Similarly, we as Christians are connected in Christ. When one Christian fails, we share his failure and care for his needs. When he is restored to fellowship, we rejoice with him.
We can't afford to believe that it doesn't matter whether we are actively involved in the struggles against the world or whether we are drifting aimlessly with the tide. When we lose our passion for the church (Christ's Body) and are preoccupied with our own concerns, our witness will be submerged. We will drown in the icy waters of indifference....
The same is true in the local church. A church preoccupied with its own differences or torn by schism is a good candidate for ultimate oblivion....
Differences must be held without bitterness, self-righteousness, and pride. In this way, a church can work out its differences and exercise discipline without diminishing its impact on the world. (From How in the World Can I Be Holy? by Erwin W. Lutzer)
Teamwork is important, whether on the job or in a ministry. How are you doing as a team player? Are you using your spiritual gifts as well as you can? (If you're not sure about your gift, ask the Lord what contribution you can make.)
Harmony of Believers-Leviticus 19:18; Psalm 133:1; Romans 15:5-7; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 2:1-2; 1 Peter 3:8.