1 Corinthians 12-16Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Use of Spiritual Gifts
12 Now about the spiritual gifts [the special endowments given by the Holy Spirit], brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, you were led off after speechless idols; however you were led off [whether by impulse or habit]. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one speaking by the [power and influence of the] Spirit of God can say, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is [my] Lord,” except by [the power and influence of] the Holy Spirit.
4 Now there are [distinctive] varieties of spiritual gifts [special abilities given by the grace and extraordinary power of the Holy Spirit operating in believers], but it is the same Spirit [who grants them and empowers believers]. 5 And there are [distinctive] varieties of ministries and service, but it is the same Lord [who is served]. 6 And there are [distinctive] ways of working [to accomplish things], but it is the same God who produces all things in all believers [inspiring, energizing, and empowering them]. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit [the spiritual illumination and the enabling of the Holy Spirit] for the common good. 8 To one is given through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] the message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] the word of knowledge and understanding according to the same Spirit; 9 to another [wonder-working] faith [is given] by the same [Holy] Spirit, and to another the [extraordinary] gifts of healings by the one Spirit; 10 and to another the working of [a]miracles, and to another prophecy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people], and to another discernment of spirits [the ability to distinguish sound, godly doctrine from the deceptive doctrine of man-made religions and cults], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, and to another interpretation of tongues. 11 All these things [the gifts, the achievements, the abilities, the empowering] are brought about by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, distributing to each one individually just as He chooses.
12 For just as the body is one and yet has many parts, and all the parts, though many, form [only] one body, so [b]it is with Christ. 13 For by one [Holy] Spirit we were all baptized into one body, [spiritually transformed—united together] whether Jews or Greeks (Gentiles), slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one [Holy] Spirit [since the same Holy Spirit fills each life].
14 For the [human] body does not consist of one part, but of many [limbs and organs]. 15 If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” is it not on the contrary still a part of the body? 16 If the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” is it not on the contrary still a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole [body] were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now [as things really are], God has placed and arranged the parts in the body, each one of them, just as He willed and saw fit [with the best balance of function]. 19 If they all were a single organ, where would [the rest of] the body be? 20 But now [as things really are] there are many parts [different limbs and organs], but a single body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 But quite the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are [absolutely] necessary; 23 and as for those parts of the body which we consider less honorable, these we treat with greater honor; and our less presentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 while our more presentable parts do not require it. But God has combined the [whole] body, giving greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 so that there would be no division or discord in the body [that is, lack of adaptation of the parts to each other], but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the parts share the suffering; if one member is honored, all rejoice with it.
27 Now you [collectively] are Christ’s body, and individually [you are] members of it [each with his own special purpose and function]. 28 So God has appointed and placed in the church [for His own use]: first apostles [chosen by Christ], second prophets [those who foretell the future, those who speak a new message from God to the people], third teachers, then those who work miracles, then those with the gifts of healings, the helpers, the administrators, and speakers in various kinds of [unknown] tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire and strive for the greater gifts [if acquiring them is going to be your goal].
And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one of the choicest graces and the highest of them all: unselfish love].
The Excellence of Love
13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not [c]love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. 2 And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. 3 If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [d]to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all.
4 Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. 5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. 7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
8 Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part [for our knowledge is fragmentary and incomplete]. 10 But when that which is complete and perfect comes, that which is incomplete and partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God]. 13 And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.
Prophecy a Superior Gift
14 Pursue [this] love [with eagerness, make it your goal], yet earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual gifts [to be used by believers for the benefit of the church], but especially that you may [e]prophesy [to foretell the future, to speak a new message from God to the people]. 2 For one who speaks in an unknown tongue does not speak to people but to God; for no one understands him or catches his meaning, but by the Spirit he speaks mysteries [secret truths, hidden things]. 3 But [on the other hand] the one who prophesies speaks to people for edification [to promote their spiritual growth] and [speaks words of] encouragement [to uphold and advise them concerning the matters of God] and [speaks words of] consolation [to compassionately comfort them]. 4 One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church [promotes growth in spiritual wisdom, devotion, holiness, and joy]. 5 Now I wish that all of you spoke in unknown tongues, but even more [I wish] that you would prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater [and more useful] than the one who speaks in tongues, unless he translates or explains [what he says], so that the church may [f]be edified [instructed, improved, strengthened].
6 Now, believers, if I come to you speaking in unknown tongues, how will I benefit you unless I also speak to you [clearly] either by revelation [revealing God’s mystery], or by knowledge [teaching about God], or by prophecy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people], or by instruction [teaching precepts that develop spiritual maturity]? 7 Yet even lifeless things, whether flute or harp, when producing a sound, if they do not produce distinct [musical] tones, how will anyone [listening] know what is piped or played? 8 And if the [war] bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9 So it is with you, if you speak words [in an unknown tongue] that are not intelligible and clear, how will anyone understand what you are saying? You will be talking into the air [wasting your breath]! 10 There are, I suppose, a great many kinds of languages in the world [unknown to us], and none is lacking in meaning. 11 But if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will [appear to] be a [g]foreigner to the one who is speaking [since he knows exactly what he is saying], and the one who is speaking will [appear to] be a foreigner to me. 12 So it is with you, since you are so very eager to have spiritual gifts and manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in ways that will build up the church [spiritually].
13 Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may [be gifted to] translate or explain [what he says]. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unproductive [because it does not understand what my spirit is praying]. 15 Then what am I to do? I will pray with the [h]spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me] and I will pray with the mind [using words I understand]; I will sing with the spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me] and I will sing with the mind [using words I understand]. 16 Otherwise if you bless [and give thanks to God] in the spirit only, how will any outsider or someone who is not gifted [in spiritual matters] say the “Amen” [of agreement] to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? 17 You are giving thanks well enough [in a way that God is glorified], but the other person [who does not understand you] is not edified [and spiritually strengthened since he cannot join in your thanksgiving]. 18 I thank God that I speak in [unknown] tongues more than all of you; 19 nevertheless, in public worship I would rather say five understandable words in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue [which others cannot understand].
Instruction for the Church
20 Brothers and sisters, do not be children [immature, childlike] in your thinking; be infants in [matters of] evil [completely innocent and inexperienced], but in your minds be mature [adults]. 21 It is written in the Law, “By men of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, and not even then will they listen to Me,” says the Lord. 22 Therefore, [unknown] tongues are [meant] for a [supernatural] sign, not to believers but to unbelievers [who might be receptive]; while prophecy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people] is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 So then, if the whole church gathers together and all of you speak in [unknown] tongues, and outsiders or those who are not gifted [in spiritual matters] or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if all prophesy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people], and an unbeliever or outsider comes in, he is convicted [of his sins] by all, and he is called to account by all [because he can understand what is being said]; 25 the secrets of his heart are laid bare. And so, falling on his face, he will worship God, declaring that God is really among you.
26 What then is the right course, believers? When you meet together, each one has a psalm, a teaching, a revelation (disclosure of special knowledge), a tongue, or an interpretation. Let everything be constructive and edifying and done for the good of all the church. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be limited to two or at the most three, and each one speaking in turn, and one must interpret [what is said]. 28 But if there is no one to interpret, the one [who wishes to speak in a tongue] must keep silent in church; let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak [as inspired by the Holy Spirit], while the rest pay attention and weigh carefully what is said. 30 But if an inspired revelation is made to another who is seated, then the first one must be silent. 31 For [in this way] you can all prophesy one by one, so that everyone may be instructed and everyone may be encouraged; 32 for the spirits of prophets are subject to the prophets [the prophecy is under the speaker’s control, and he can stop speaking]; 33 for God [who is the source of their prophesying] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order.
As [is the practice] in all the churches of the saints (God’s people),
34 the [i]women should be silent in the churches, for they are not authorized to speak, but are to take a subordinate place, as the Law says. 35 If there is anything they want to learn [that is, if they have questions about anything being said or taught], they are to ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a [j]woman to talk in church. 36 Did the word of the Lord originate from you [Corinthians], or has it come to you only [so that you know best what God requires]?
37 If anyone thinks and claims that he is a prophet [a true spokesman for God] or spiritually astute [filled with and energized by the Holy Spirit], let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment. 38 If anyone does not recognize this [that it is a command of the Lord], he is not recognized [by God].
39 Therefore, believers, desire earnestly to prophesy [to foretell the future, to speak a new message from God to the people], and do not forbid speaking in unknown tongues. 40 But all things must be done appropriately and in an orderly manner.
The Fact of Christ’s Resurrection
15 Now brothers and sisters, let me remind you [once again] of the good news [of salvation] which I preached to you, which you welcomed and accepted and on which you stand [by faith]. 2 By this faith you are saved [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose], if you hold firmly to the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain [just superficially and without complete commitment].
3 For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to [that which] the Scriptures [foretold], 4 and that He was buried, and that He was [bodily] raised on the third day according to [that which] the Scriptures [foretold], 5 and that He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the [k]Twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, the majority of whom are still alive, but some have fallen asleep [in death]. 7 Then He was seen by James, then by all the apostles, 8 and last of all, as to one [l]untimely (prematurely, traumatically) born, He appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least [worthy] of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I [at one time] fiercely oppressed and violently persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the [remarkable] grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not without effect. In fact, I worked harder than all of the apostles, though it was not I, but the grace of God [His unmerited favor and blessing which was] with me. 11 So whether it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed and trusted in and relied on with confidence.
12 Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how is it that [m]some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain [useless, amounting to nothing], and your faith is also vain [imaginary, unfounded, devoid of value and benefit—not based on truth]. 15 We are even discovered to be false witnesses [misrepresenting] God, because we testified concerning Him that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised, either; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless and powerless [mere delusion]; you are still in your sins [and under the control and penalty of sin]. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If we who are [abiding] in Christ have hoped only in this life [and this is all there is], then we are of all people most miserable and to be pitied.
The Order of Resurrection
20 But now [as things really are] Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, [and He became] the first fruits [that is, the first to be resurrected with an incorruptible, immortal body, foreshadowing the resurrection] of those who have fallen asleep [in death]. 21 For since [it was] by a man that death came [into the world], it is also by a Man that the resurrection of the dead has come. 22 For just as [n]in Adam all die, so also [o]in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s [own will be resurrected with incorruptible, immortal bodies] at His coming. 24 After that comes the end (completion), when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after He has made inoperative and abolished every ruler and every authority and power. 25 For Christ must reign [as King] until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy to be abolished and put to an end is death. 27 For He (the Father) has put all things in subjection under His (Christ’s) feet. But when He says, “All things have been put in subjection [under Christ],” it is clear that He (the Father) who put all things in subjection to Him (Christ) is excepted [since the Father is not in subjection to His own Son]. 28 However, when all things are subjected to Him (Christ), then the Son Himself will also be subjected to the One (the Father) who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all [manifesting His glory without any opposition, the supreme indwelling and controlling factor of life].
29 Otherwise, what will those do who are being [p]baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people even baptized for them? 30 [For that matter] why are we [running such risks and putting ourselves] [q]in danger [nearly] every hour [if there is no resurrection]? 31 I assure you, believers, by the pride which I have in you in [your union with] Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily [I face death and die to self]. 32 What good has it done me if, [merely] from a human point of view, I [r]fought with wild animals at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised [at all], let us eat and drink [enjoying ourselves now], for tomorrow we die. 33 Do not be deceived: [s]“Bad company corrupts good morals.” 34 Be sober-minded [be sensible, wake up from your spiritual stupor] as you ought, and stop sinning; for some [of you] have no knowledge of God [you are disgracefully ignorant of Him, and ignore His truths]. I say this to your shame.
35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body will they come?” 36 You fool! Every time you plant seed you sow something that does not come to life [germinating, springing up and growing] unless it first dies. 37 The seed you sow is not the body (the plant) which it is going to become, but it is a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body just as He planned, and to each kind of seed a body of its own [is given]. 39 All flesh is not the same. There is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are also heavenly bodies [sun, moon and stars] and earthly bodies [humans, animals, and plants], but the glory and beauty of the heavenly is one kind, and the glory of the earthly is another. 41 There is a glory and beauty of the sun, another glory of the moon, and yet another [distinctive] glory of the stars; and one star differs from another in glory and brilliance.
42 So it is with the resurrection of the dead. The [human] body that is sown is perishable and mortal, it is raised imperishable and immortal. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in strength; 44 it is sown a natural body [mortal, suited to earth], it is raised a spiritual body [immortal, suited to heaven]. As surely as there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written [in Scripture], “The first man, Adam, became a living soul (an individual);” the last Adam (Christ) became a life-giving spirit [restoring the dead to life]. 46 However, the spiritual [the immortal life] is not first, but the physical [the mortal life]; then the spiritual. 47 The first man [Adam] is from the earth, earthy [made of dust]; the second Man [Christ, the Lord] is from heaven. 48 As is the earthly man [the man of dust], so are those who are of earth; and as is the heavenly [Man], so are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthly [the man of dust], [t]we will also bear the image of the heavenly [the Man of heaven].
The Mystery of Resurrection
50 Now I say this, believers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit nor be part of the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable (mortal) inherit the imperishable (immortal). 51 Listen very carefully, I tell you a mystery [a secret truth decreed by God and previously hidden, but now revealed]; we will not all sleep [in death], but we will all be [completely] changed [wondrously transformed], 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at [the sound of] the last trumpet call. For a trumpet will sound, and the dead [who believed in Christ] will be raised imperishable, and we will be [completely] changed [wondrously transformed]. 53 For this perishable [part of us] must put on the imperishable [nature], and this mortal [part of us that is capable of dying] must put on immortality [which is freedom from death]. 54 And when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the Scripture will be fulfilled that says, “Death is swallowed up in victory (vanquished forever). 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin [by which it brings death] is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory [as conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose].
Instructions and Greetings
16 Now concerning the money collected for [the relief of] the saints [in Jerusalem], you are to do the same as I directed the churches of Galatia to do. 2 On the first day of every week each one of you is to put something aside, in proportion to his prosperity, and save it so that no collections [will need to] be made when I come. 3 When I arrive, I will send whomever you approve with letters [of authorization] to take your gift [of charity and love] to Jerusalem; 4 and if it is fitting for me to go too, they will accompany me.
5 I will visit you after I go through Macedonia, for I am only passing through Macedonia; 6 but it may be that I will stay with you [for a while], or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way to wherever I may go afterward. 7 For I do not wish to see you right now just in passing, but I hope to remain with you for some time [later on], if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay in Ephesus until [u]Pentecost, 9 because a wide door for effective service has opened to me [in Ephesus, a very promising opportunity], and there are many adversaries.
10 If Timothy comes, see to it that [you put him at ease, so that] he has nothing to fear in regard to you, for he is [devotedly] doing the Lord’s work, just as I am. 11 So allow no one to treat him with disdain [as if he were inconsequential]. But send him off [cordially, and speed him on his way] in peace, so that he may come to me, for I am expecting him [to come along] with the other brothers.
12 As for our brother Apollos, I have strongly encouraged him to visit you with the other brothers. It was not at all his desire to come now, but he will come when he has the opportunity.
13 Be on guard; stand firm in your faith [in God, respecting His precepts and keeping your doctrine sound]. Act like [mature] men and be courageous; be strong. 14 Let everything you do be done in love [motivated and inspired by God’s love for us].
15 Brothers and sisters, you know that those of the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to [v]God’s people—now I urge you 16 to be subject to such leaders [treating them with courtesy and respect], and to everyone who helps in the work and labors [for the benefit of yourselves and the church]. 17 I rejoice because Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus have arrived, for they have made up for your absence. 18 They have refreshed my spirit as well as yours. So fully acknowledge such men and deeply appreciate them.
19 The churches of Asia send you their greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church [that meets] in their house, send you their warm greetings in the Lord. 20 All the believers greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
21 This greeting is in my own hand—Paul. 22 If anyone does not love the Lord [does not obey and respect and believe in Jesus Christ and His message], he is to be accursed. Maranatha (O our Lord, come)! 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus [His unmerited favor, His spiritual blessing, His profound mercy] be with you. 24 My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.
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