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After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.

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In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.

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10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

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As God’s partners,[a] we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.

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Footnotes

  1. 6:1 Or As we work together.

He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

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23 Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again.

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10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful.

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25 God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you.

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By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.

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We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.[a] This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

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Footnotes

  1. 4:7 Greek We now have this treasure in clay jars.

You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake.

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Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.

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28 Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:

first are apostles,
second are prophets,
third are teachers,
then those who do miracles,
those who have the gift of healing,
those who can help others,
those who have the gift of leadership,
those who speak in unknown languages.

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There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice[a]; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.[b] The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages,[c] while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

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Footnotes

  1. 12:8a Or gives a word of wisdom.
  2. 12:8b Or gives a word of knowledge.
  3. 12:10 Or in various tongues; also in 12:28, 30.

17 If I were doing this on my own initiative, I would deserve payment. But I have no choice, for God has given me this sacred trust.

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Paul’s Relationship with the Corinthians

So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries. Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful.

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It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.

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Because of the privilege and authority[a] God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.[b] Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.

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Footnotes

  1. 12:3a Or Because of the grace; compare 1:5.
  2. 12:3b Or by the faith God has given you; or by the standard of our God-given faith.

14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”[a]

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Footnotes

  1. 10:15 Isa 52:7.

27 John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven.

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They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples.[a]

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Footnotes

  1. 1:2 Greek from those who from the beginning were servants of the word.

15 He gave five bags of silver[a] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

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