1 Corinthians 12 [Clear Word]

2B. A SERVICE MOTIVATION

Concerning spiritual gifts, I don't want you to be ignorant about why they've been given to us. 2 Before you accepted Christ, remember how easily you were led to worship one idol after another, becoming involved in all kinds of vulgar practices? 3 No one who has the Holy Spirit can speak negatively about Christ. Neither can anyone confess that Jesus is Lord without the Holy Spirit. 4 It's true that there are different gifts, but it's the same Holy Spirit who gives them all to us. 5 There are different ways of serving the Lord, but all the gifts are given to honor Him. 6 So you'll find that people in your church have different abilities, but they all come from the same God. 7 The presence of the Holy Spirit is revealed in different ways, but always for the good of the church. 8 To one person the Holy Spirit gives special wisdom about spiritual things. To another, He gives the ability to make hard questions easily understood. 9 Someone else is given a special measure of faith; another is given the gift of healing; and so on--all are given by the Holy Spirit. 10 One person may be used of God to work miracles; another may be called to the office of a prophet; someone else can detect the slightest evidence of demonic forces; others can speak different languages in order to evangelize as a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit; and still others can translate those languages so people can understand what was said. 11 These gifts are all given by the same Holy Spirit, however and whenever He sees fit. 12 The best illustration of this is the human body. Our bodies have many parts, but all the parts make up only one body. We, the full church, are Christ's body on earth. We also have many parts, but we function as one body. 13 That's the purpose of these spiritual gifts which the Holy Spirit gives us. After we're baptized, He uses each of us as a part of the body of Christ. It doesn't make any difference whether we're Jews or Gentiles, free men or slaves, because we all get our strength from the Holy Spirit. 14 We know that the human body is not just one big foot, but many parts. 15 Can you imagine my foot saying to me, "I'm going to stop walking because you don't give me the same recognition that you give to the hand. I'm no longer going to function as part of your body." Does that make the foot any less a part of my body? 16 Can you imagine my ear saying to me, "I don't belong to your body any more because you haven't given me the same position that you've given to the eye." Would that make the ear any less a part of my body? 17 Suppose every part of the human body wanted to be an eye, how would we hear? And if all parts of the body wanted to be an ear, how would we see or smell? 18 God put together the various parts of my body so it can function in a way that will best serve Him. 19 If my entire body were just one of its parts, then what would happen to me? Where would I be? 20 In order to have a well-functioning body, you need all the necessary parts. Yet, it's still considered only one body. 21 That's why the eye can't say to the hand, "I don't need you. I can get along without you." Nor can the head say to the feet, "I can do without you, so be on your way." 22 If anything, the parts of our bodies which seem weak and delicate, like our eyes, are absolutely essential. 23 Our internal organs, which we don't normally talk about, we treat with great care, and our private parts we treat with still greater care and modesty. 24 Those parts of our bodies which are made to be more public do not require as much attention. God has composed the body in such a way that greater care is given to the parts which need special care to function. 25 This brings balance to the body so the various parts are not divided in purpose, but every part works together with the other parts. 26 If one part of the body gets sick, the whole body feels it; if each part performs well, health and happiness flow through the whole body. 27 That's how the body of Christ, the worldwide church, functions. Each of you is a different part of it. 28 In His church some function as apostles, having a clear picture of the church's mission. Some might be given the gift of prophecy to help guide the church. Others have the ability to evangelize and teach others. In addition to these three major functions, God has put other parts in the church, such as those who can work miracles, those who can heal, those who can administer and manage, and those who can preach in different languages. 29 Is everyone a leader? Has everyone been called to prophesy? Do all members know how to teach? Can everyone perform miracles? 30 Is everyone able to heal? Can all speak in different languages or can all translate? 31 No, we don't all have the same gifts. It's not wrong to want additional gifts as long as you don't want them in order to function outside the body. But let me tell you about the very best fruit of the Spirit.