1 Corinthians 12-14 The Passion Translation (TPT)
12 My fellow believers, I don’t want you to be confused about spiritual realities.[a] 2 For you know full well that when you were unbelievers you were often led astray[b] in one way or another by your worship of idols, which are incapable of talking with you. 3 Therefore, I want to impart to you an understanding of the following:
No one speaking by the Spirit of God[c] would ever say, “Jesus is the accursed one.”
Varieties of Spiritual Gifts
8 For example:
The Spirit gives to one the gift of the word of wisdom.[l]
To another, the same Spirit gives the gift of the word of revelation knowledge.[m]
11 Remember, it is the same Holy Spirit who distributes, activates, and operates these different gifts as he chooses for each believer.[s]
One Body with Many Parts
12 Just as the human body is one, though it has many parts that together form one body, so too is Christ.[t] 13 For by one Spirit we all were immersed and mingled into one single body.[u] And no matter our status—whether we are Jews or non-Jews, oppressed or free—we are all privileged to drink deeply of the same Holy Spirit.[v]
14 In fact, the human body is not one single part but rather many parts mingled into one. 15 So if the foot were to say, “Since I’m not a hand, I’m not a part of the body,” it’s forgetting that it is still a vital part of the body. 16 And if the ear were to say, “Since I’m not an eye, I’m not really a part of the body,” it’s forgetting that it is still an important part of the body.
17 Think of it this way. If the whole body were just an eyeball, how could it hear sounds? And if the whole body were just an ear, how could it smell different fragrances? 18 But God has carefully designed each member and placed it in the body to function as he desires.[w] 19 A diversity is required, for if the body consisted of one single part, there wouldn’t be a body at all! 20 So now we see that there are many differing parts and functions, but one body.
No Competition for Importance within the Body
21 It would be wrong for the eye to say to the hand, “I don’t need you,” and equally wrong if the head said to the foot, “I don’t need you.” 22 In fact, the weaker our parts, the more vital and essential they are.[x] 23 The body parts we think are less honorable we treat with greater respect. And the body parts that need to be covered in public we treat with propriety and clothe them. 24 But some of our body parts don’t require as much attention. Instead, God has mingled the body parts together, giving greater honor to the “lesser” members who lacked it. 25 He has done this intentionally so that every member would look after the others with mutual concern, and so that there will be no division in the body. 26 In that way, whatever happens to one member happens to all. If one suffers, everyone suffers. If one is honored, everyone rejoices.
One Body with Different Gifts
27 You are the body of the Anointed One, and each of you is a unique and vital part of it. 28 God has placed in the church the following:
then those with gifts of miracles, gifts of divine healing,
and gifts of different kinds of tongues.
29 Not everyone is an apostle or a prophet or a teacher. Not everyone performs miracles 30 or has gifts of healing or speaks in tongues or interprets tongues. 31 But you should all constantly boil over with passion in seeking the higher gifts.
And now I will show you a superior way to live that is beyond comparison![aa]
Love, the Motivation of Our Lives
13 If I were to speak with eloquence in earth’s many languages, and in the heavenly tongues of angels,[ab] yet I didn’t express myself with love,[ac] my words would be reduced to the hollow sound of nothing more than a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I were to have the gift of prophecy[ad] with a profound understanding of God’s hidden secrets, and if I possessed unending supernatural knowledge, and if I had the greatest gift of faith that could move mountains,[ae] but have never learned to love, then I am nothing.
3 And if I were to be so generous as to give away everything I owned to feed the poor, and to offer my body to be burned as a martyr,[af] without the pure motive of love, I would gain nothing of value.
4 Love is large and incredibly patient.[ag] Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous[ah] when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. 5 Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated[ai] or quick to take offense.[aj] 6 Love joyfully celebrates honesty[ak] and finds no delight in what is wrong.[al] 7 Love is a safe place of shelter,[am] for it never stops believing the best for others.[an] Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.
8 Love never stops loving.[ao] It extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away.[ap] It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent. Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten.[aq] 9 Our present knowledge and our prophecies are but partial,[ar] 10 but when love’s perfection arrives, the partial will fade away.[as] 11 When I was a child, I spoke about childish matters, for I saw things like a child and reasoned like a child. But the day came when I matured, and I set aside my childish ways.
12 For now we see but a faint reflection of riddles and mysteries[at] as though reflected in a mirror, but one day we will see face-to-face.[au] My understanding is incomplete now, but one day I will understand everything, just as everything about me has been fully understood. 13 Until then, there are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love—yet love surpasses them all.[av] So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.[aw]
Proper Use of Spiritual Gifts
14 It is good that you are enthusiastic and passionate about spiritual gifts, especially prophecy.[ax] 2 When someone speaks in tongues, no one understands a word he says, because he’s not speaking to people, but to God—he is speaking intimate mysteries in the Spirit.[ay] 3 But when someone prophesies, he speaks to encourage people, to build them up, and to bring them comfort.[az] 4 The one who speaks in tongues advances his own spiritual progress,[ba] while the one who prophesies builds up the church. 5 I would be delighted if you all spoke in tongues, but I desire even more that you impart prophetic revelation to others. Greater gain comes through the one who prophesies than the one who speaks in tongues, unless there is interpretation so that it builds up the entire church.
6 My dear friends, what good is it if I come to you always speaking in tongues? But if I come with a clear revelation from God, or with insight,[bb] or with a prophecy, or with a clear teaching, I can enrich you.[bc] 7 Similarly, if musical instruments, such as flutes or stringed instruments, are out of tune and don’t play the arrangement clearly, how will anyone recognize the melody? 8 If the bugle makes a garbled sound, who will recognize the signal to show up for the battle? 9 So it is with you. Unless you speak in a language that’s easily understood, how will anyone know what you’re talking about? You might as well save your breath!
10 I suppose that the world has all sorts of languages, and each conveys meaning to the ones who speak it. 11 But I am like a foreigner if I don’t understand the language, and the speaker will be like a foreigner to me. 12 And that’s what’s happening among you. You are so passionate[bd] about embracing the manifestations of the Holy Spirit! Now become even more passionate about the things that strengthen the entire church.
13 So then, if you speak in a tongue, pray for the interpretation to be able to unfold the meaning of what you are saying. 14 For if I am praying in a tongue, my spirit is engaged in prayer but I have no clear understanding of what is being said.
15 So here’s what I’ve concluded. I will pray in the Spirit, but I will also pray with my mind engaged. I will sing rapturous praises in the Spirit, but I will also sing with my mind engaged. 16 Otherwise, if you are praising God in your spirit, how could someone without the gift participate by adding his “amen” to your giving of thanks, since he doesn’t have a clue of what you’re saying? 17 Your praise to God is admirable, but it does nothing to strengthen and build up others.
18 I give thanks to God that I speak in tongues more than all of you, 19 but in the church setting I would rather speak five words that can be understood than ten thousand exotic words in a tongue. That way I could have a role in teaching others.
The Function of the Gifts
20 Beloved ones,[be] don’t remain as immature children in your reasoning. As it relates to evil, be like newborns, but in your thinking be mature adults.
21 For it stands written in the law:
I will bring my message to this people with strange tongues and foreign lips, yet even then they still will not listen to me, says the Lord.[bf]
22 So then, tongues are not a sign for believers, but a miracle for unbelievers. Prophecy, on the other hand, is not for unbelievers, but a miracle sign for believers.
23 If the entire church comes together and everyone is speaking in tongues, won’t the visitors say that you have lost your minds? 24 But if everyone is prophesying, and an unbeliever or one without the gift enters your meeting, he will be convicted by all that he hears and will be called to account, 25 for the intimate secrets of his heart will be brought to light. He will be mystified and fall facedown in worship and say, “God is truly among you!”[bg]
Guidelines for Use of the Gifts
26 Beloved friends,[bh] what does all this imply? When you conduct your meetings, you should always let everything be done to build up the church family. Whether you share a song of praise,[bi] a teaching, a divine revelation, or a tongue and interpretation, let each one contribute what strengthens others.
27 If someone speaks in a tongue, it should be two or three,[bj] one after another, with someone interpreting. 28 If there’s no one with the interpretation, then he should remain silent in the meeting, content to speak to himself and to God.
29 And the same with prophecy. Let two or three prophets prophesy and let the other prophets carefully evaluate and discern what is being said. 30 But if someone receives a revelation while someone else is still speaking, the one speaking should conclude and allow the one with fresh revelation the opportunity to share it.[bk] 31 For you can all prophesy in turn and in an environment where all present can be instructed, encouraged, and strengthened. 32 Keep in mind that the anointing to prophesy doesn’t mean that the speaker is out of control[bl]—he can wait his turn.[bm] 33 For God is the God of harmony, not confusion,[bn] as is the pattern in all the churches of God’s holy believers.
34 The women[bo] should be respectfully silent during the evaluation of prophecy in the meetings.[bp] They are not allowed to interrupt,[bq] but are to be in a support role, as in fact the law teaches.[br] 35 If they want to inquire about something, let them ask their husbands when they get home, for a woman embarrasses herself when she constantly interrupts the church meeting.[bs]
36 Do you actually think that you were the starting point for the Word of God going forth? Were you the only ones it was sent to? I don’t think so![bt] 37 If anyone considers himself to be a prophet or a spiritual person,[bu] let him discern that what I’m writing to you carries the Lord’s authority. 38 And if anyone continues not to recognize this, he should not be recognized!