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1Corinthians  ◦   Chapter 12

1Also, I want you to understand about spiritual gifts–gifts given by God in order to mature, develop and equip believers to be successful members of God's spiritual health-care team.2You remember quite well that when you were pagans, your minds were confused and you superstitiously revered mute idols.3Therefore, understand this clearly: No one who is led by God's Spirit will misrepresent Christ or distort his character by word or deed, and no one whose words and deeds accurately reveal the lordship of Christ can do so except by the Holy Spirit.

4While there is a variety of gifts, there is only one Spirit.5And though there are many ways to help people, there is only one Lord.6While there are many methods to bring God's healing truth to people, it is the same God who orchestrates his team and whose power works to heal the heart from sin.

7So, the Holy Spirit works in each person to bring out the abilities and gifts best suited for that individual to use for the common good of all.8One is blessed with wisdom, another with knowledge,9another with unwavering trust, another with great skill in healing;10another has the ability to perform miracles, another has the gift of prophecy, another–keen discernment in distinguishing truth from error and the difference between the true and false spirits; to another is given the gift of speaking many languages, to another–the ability to translate many languages.11But all of these abilities and gifts are the result of the same Spirit, and it is the Spirit who determines which gift is given to which person.

12Consider your physical body: It is a single body, but it's constructed of many individual parts; and though there are many parts, it is still one body. So it is with Christ.13For all of us had our hearts and minds immersed into Christ by the same Spirit and thus are part of the same body. It doesn't matter whether Jew or Greek, slave or free–we have all internalized the same Remedy to sin from the same Spirit of God!

14The body is a cohesive unit constructed of many parts, and all the parts play a vital role.15What if the foot said, "I am not a hand and never get to wave, touch things or write, therefore I don't even belong to the body;" would that make it so?16What if the ear said, "I am not the eye and I never get to look at things or read, therefore I'm not part of the body;" would the ear suddenly disappear from the head?17Or what if the entire body were just an eye? It would be grotesque, and where would hearing be? And for that matter, how would the eye move, or even survive, without a heart and lungs to give it blood and oxygen? And if the entire body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?18God has built the body with all its parts right where he wanted them, all perfectly complementing each other and fulfilling their purposes for the good of the entire body.19If they were all the same part, it would cease to be a body.20But as it is, there are many parts perfectly united in one magnificent body.

21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" for the hand wipes the tears from the eye. And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" for the feet take the head where it wants to go.22Every part is indispensable. The parts that seem to be weaker are essential,23and the parts we consider less honorable, like the feet, we treat with special honor by providing shoes specialized for all occasions. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special care and attention,24while the parts we present publicly don't need any special treatment. God has designed the body, creating a perfect organism where all the various parts are united in serving each other, where each part is honored to fulfill its appointed purpose for the good of all.25No disunity or competition exists in the body, but all the parts are equally concerned for the health of the others.26If one part of the body is in pain, the other parts suffer with it; if one part is healthy and honored, the others rejoice with it and are blessed by it.

27Now understand the point of this illustration: You all are parts of the body of Christ; each one of you is a part of it.28And just as in the body different parts have different roles, so God has appointed in the church different people for different roles in distributing the Remedy. First, there are ambassadors, second — God's spokespersons, third — teachers, then workers of miracles, also healthcare practitioners, helpers, administrators, and translators.29All are necessary to accomplish God's purpose of healing the world–but are all ambassadors? Are all God's spokespersons? Is everyone a teacher? Can all do miracles?30Are all suited for healthcare? Can everyone translate languages?31So don't get sidetracked by trying to do someone else's job, but instead fulfill your purpose in the church, eagerly striving for the greater gift. And now I will show you the only true and most excellent way.