1 Corinthians 12

This devotional is written by Chrissie Connolly.

1 Corinthians 12

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Concerning spiritual gifts
Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to dumb idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know 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 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 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 are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Unity and diversity in the body
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body - whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free - and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 And so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

15 Now if the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,' it would not for that reason stop being part of 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 stop being part of the body. 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 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

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 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.

Love is indispensable

And yet I will show you the most excellent way.


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The church is not a building, it's the people within it and the community it creates that has the power to further the Kingdom of God. Paul is showing us in this passage that with the power of the Holy Spirit and working together, nothing is impossible for God. The Holy Spirit can manifest in many 'different kinds of gifts' which we may feel more confident in using than others. Genesis 1v27 says 'God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.' These are God given gifts and we were created to be used by the Holy Spirit in many different ways. God wants his people to reflect his image by working together in unity and harmony. As Paul highlights an eye can be nothing but an eye, neither can an ear be anything but an ear. However 'God has placed the parts of the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.' We all have a part to play in the body of Christ and nothing is insignificant.

It doesn't matter who we are, God can use any of us for the benefit of the Kingdom. Look at Jesus' disciples for example, they were a mixed group. One was a tax collector, hated by the community for his greed, others were fishermen known to have little education. These were definitely not the type of person thought capable of preaching the gospel. However Jesus looked past this and these people went on to spread the Gospel throughout the nations, performing miracles and transforming thousands of people's lives.

Take some time to reflect and pray into your giftings. If you are uncertain what they are, ask God to reveal them to you. Ask God to give you opportunities today and the coming week to use these gifts for his Glory.

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