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12
The different functions of the Spirit
1Now as to the phenomena of your faith which show in a special way the presence of God and the action of the Spirit. Recollect this Spirit is one. Many of you are moved far beyond your ordinary capacity, and do things which in your own strength would be utterly impossible to you, — you prophesy, teach, heal, speak with tongues, and perform wonders, marvels — and this is not yourselves, it is the Spirit by which you are possessed. 2But recollect, my brethren, there is nothing in this similar to those possessions by spirits you were once familiar with in the old religions. At one time that worship was part of your life. You were carried away willy-nilly as you were led in the service of these dumb idols. 3-5And because this type of worship was so familiar to you, I bid you remember that, if anyone is possessed and cries out a curse on Jesus, such possession you will know comes not from God, whilst on the other hand to acknowledge Jesus as Lord can never be done except by those to whom the Spirit has been imparted. Now this Spirit, as I say, is one, absolutely one, throughout all its manifestations, and that is why all those phenomena which represent to us its operations are so mutually harmonious and complementary. 6-8One man may evidence one kind of gift or service, one man's sphere of usefulness or inspiration may differ entirely from another's, but he will not differ in the spirit.
The oneness of the Spirit
9It is the same Spirit, the same Lord, the same God which imparts, ordains, inspires, possesses. 10The word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, faith, gifts of healing, inspiration and genius, prophecy, spiritual insight and discernment, tongues and the interpretation of tongues — 11these all proceed in varying degrees displayed by different individuals from the one infinite Spirit. He, that Spirit, is all in all, and one, and all these gifts are constituted in His action and operation. 12The Christ is as it were one infinite body, wherein all the parts and members are mutually helpful and interdependent. 13In the unity of the same organism there cannot be inharmonious contradictory parts. 14-16Hand cannot say to foot, I have no need of you. Ear and eye are different members and have different functions, but what if the ear said to the eye, “because I am different from you, we belong to different bodies,” would it be true? And so all of us were baptised into one vast body, the infinite Christ, — Jews, Greeks, slaves, and free — and we all drank the wine of the one Spirit. Hence these different gifts, functions and offices which operate in us. This very variety constitutes the essential being of the Spirit, because the Spirit includes all. 17If the body were all eye, where would the hearing be? If it were all ear, where would the eyebrow be? 18-21Every part is beautifully formed to assist and be complementary to the others; none is otiose, negligible or useless, 22but on the contrary those very parts which are held in least honour often have the most important functions, 23-25and the visible parts of the body which form its beauty are the most dependent on the organs which are not seen and are less esteemed. 26If one member suffer, all suffer with it, and no one part of the body can be affected, for good or ill, without all the others feeling it. 27So is it in that infinite spiritual body of the Christ, which we together constitute, of which we are all members. 28Whether in the church there be those that are called apostles, prophets, teachers, healers, helpers, officers, speakers with tongues — what is this but the activity of one life? 29Because it is one thing, all are not therefore apostles, nor all prophets, nor all teachers, 30nor all healers, nor all speakers with tongues, nor all interpreters. 31True, some gifts are greater than others, and it is right to wish for the greatest gifts of all, and in that respect, I will point out to you a way that is better than all others.
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Gifts from the Holy Spirit
1Now, concerning what you wrote about the gifts from the Holy Spirit.
I want you to know the truth about them, my brothers and sisters. 2You know that while you were still heathen, you were led astray in many ways to the worship of lifeless idols. 3I want you to know that no one who is led by God's Spirit can say “A curse on Jesus!” and no one can confess “Jesus is Lord”, without being guided by the Holy Spirit.
4 # Rom 12.6–8 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. 5There are different ways of serving, but the same Lord is served. 6There are different abilities to perform service, but the same God gives ability to all for their particular service. 7The Spirit's presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all. 8The Spirit gives one person a message full of wisdom, while to another person the same Spirit gives a message full of knowledge. 9One and the same Spirit gives faith to one person, while to another person he gives the power to heal. 10The Spirit gives one person the power to work miracles; to another, the gift of speaking God's message; and to yet another, the ability to tell the difference between gifts that come from the Spirit and those that do not. To one person he gives the ability to speak in strange tongues, and to another he gives the ability to explain what is said. 11But it is one and the same Spirit who does all this; as he wishes, he gives a different gift to each person.
One Body with Many Parts
12 # Rom 12.4–5 Christ is like a single body, which has many parts; it is still one body, even though it is made up of different parts. 13In the same way, all of us, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether slaves or free, have been baptized into the one body by the same Spirit, and we have all been given the one Spirit to drink.
14For the body itself is not made up of only one part, but of many parts. 15If the foot were to say, “Because I am not a hand, I don't belong to the body,” that would not keep it from being a part of the body. 16And if the ear were to say, “Because I am not an eye, I don't belong to the body,” that would not keep it from being a part of the body. 17If the whole body were just an eye, how could it hear? And if it were only an ear, how could it smell? 18As it is, however, God put every different part in the body just as he wanted it to be. 19There would not be a body if it were all only one part! 20As it is, there are many parts but one body.
21So then, the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don't need you!” Nor can the head say to the feet, “Well, I don't need you!” 22On the contrary, we cannot do without the parts of the body that seem to be weaker; 23and those parts that we think aren't worth very much are the ones which we treat with greater care; while the parts of the body which don't look very nice are treated with special modesty, 24which the more beautiful parts do not need. God himself has put the body together in such a way as to give greater honour to those parts that need it. 25And so there is no division in the body, but all its different parts have the same concern for one another. 26If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it; if one part is praised, all the other parts share its happiness.
27All of you are Christ's body, and each one is a part of it. 28#Eph 4.11In the church God has put all in place: in the first place apostles, in the second place prophets, and in the third place teachers; then those who perform miracles, followed by those who are given the power to heal or to help others or to direct them or to speak in strange tongues. 29They are not all apostles or prophets or teachers. Not everyone has the power to work miracles 30or to heal diseases or to speak in strange tongues or to explain what is said. 31Set your hearts, then, on the more important gifts.
Best of all, however, is the following way.