Christian Basics Bible Sampler - Page 26

1 Corinthians 13 • page 1316
that does not make it any less a part of the
body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of
the body because I am not an eye,” would
that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If
the whole body were an eye, how would you
hear? Or if your whole body were an ear,
how would you smell anything?
But our bodies have many parts, and
God has put each part just where he wants
it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had
only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts,
but only one body. 21 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 parts of the body that
seem weakest and least important are ac­
tually the most necessary. 23 And the parts
we regard as less honorable are those we
clothe with the greatest care. So we care­
fully protect those parts that should not be
seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do
not require this special care. So God has put
the body together such that extra honor and
care are given to those parts that have less
dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among
the members, so that all the members care
for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all
the parts suffer with it, and if one part is
honored, all the parts are glad.
All of you together are Christ’s body,
and each of you is a part of it. 28 Here are
some of the parts God has appointed for the
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 have the gift of leadership,
those who speak in unknown languages.
Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets?
Are we all teachers? Do we all have the
power to do miracles? 30 Do we all have the
gift of healing? Do we all have the ability
to speak in unknown languages? Do we all
have the ability to interpret unknown lan­
guages? Of course not! 31 So you should ear­
nestly desire the most helpful gifts.
But now let me show you a way of life that
is best of all.
Love Is the Greatest
If I could speak all the languages of
earth and of angels, but didn’t love
others, I would only be a noisy gong or a
clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of proph­
ecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret
plans and possessed all knowledge, and if
I had such faith that I could move moun­
tains, but didn’t love others, I would be
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The fact that Paul devotes three chapters (1 Corinthians 12–14) to gifts of the
Holy Spirit indicates that this was an important issue in Corinth. Clearly some
Corinthians were using these gifts selfishly or seeing them as signs of spiritual
superiority. Yet Paul’s answer is not to tell them to stop using these gifts, but
rather to tell them how to use the gifts correctly.
He begins by reminding them of their purpose: to bring honor to Jesus (12:16).
Then he says that the Spirit’s gifts are for everyone (12:7), not just those who
think they are more spiritual. These gifts are characterized by variety and unity
(12:12-31)—variety in the many types of gifts given (12:7-11), none of which is
more important than another (12:12-26); unity in their purpose of building up the
church (14:1-12). Right at the heart of everything stands Paul’s reminder that all
the gifts must be exercised in love; otherwise they are meaningless (chapter 13).
Sometimes in discussing these gifts, Christians make a distinction between
“spiritual” gifts and “practical” gifts, often implying a sense of hierarchy. But
in all its lists of spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-10, 28-30;
Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Peter 4:10-11), the New Testament never distinguishes
between “spiritual” and “practical” gifts. This is fitting, because “it is the one
and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:11).

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