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.
4There 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
12Christ 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. 28In 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.
1I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. 2I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains — but if I have no love, I am nothing. 3I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burnt — but if I have no love, this does me no good.
4Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; 5love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; 6love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. 7Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.
8Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. 9For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; 10but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.
11When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I have grown up, I have no more use for childish ways. 12What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete — as complete as God's knowledge of me.
13Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.
1It is love, then, that you should strive for. Set your hearts on spiritual gifts, especially the gift of proclaiming God's message. 2Those who speak in strange tongues do not speak to others but to God, because no one understands them. They are speaking secret truths by the power of the Spirit. 3But those who proclaim God's message speak to people and give them help, encouragement, and comfort. 4Those who speak in strange tongues help only themselves, but those who proclaim God's message help the whole church.
5I would like all of you to speak in strange tongues; but I would rather that you had the gift of proclaiming God's message. For the person who proclaims God's message is of greater value than the one who speaks in strange tongues — unless there is someone present who can explain what is said, so that the whole church may be helped. 6So when I come to you, my brothers and sisters, what use will I be to you if I speak in strange tongues? Not a bit, unless I bring you some revelation from God or some knowledge or some inspired message, or some teaching.
7Take such lifeless musical instruments as the flute or the harp — how will anyone know the tune that is being played unless the notes are sounded distinctly? 8And if the one who plays the bugle does not sound a clear call, who will prepare for battle? 9In the same way, how will anyone understand what you are talking about if your message given in strange tongues is not clear? Your words will vanish in the air! 10There are many different languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11But if I do not know the language being spoken, those who use it will be foreigners to me and I will be a foreigner to them. 12Since you are eager to have the gifts of the Spirit, you must try above everything else to make greater use of those which help to build up the church.
13The person who speaks in strange tongues, then, must pray for the gift to explain what is said. 14For if I pray in this way, my spirit prays indeed, but my mind has no part in it. 15What should I do, then? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray also with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will sing also with my mind. 16When you give thanks to God in spirit only, how can ordinary people taking part in the meeting say “Amen” to your prayer of thanksgiving? They have no way of knowing what you are saying. 17Even if your prayer of thanks to God is quite good, other people are not helped at all.
18I thank God that I speak in strange tongues much more than any of you. 19But in church worship I would rather speak five words that can be understood, in order to teach others, than speak thousands of words in strange tongues.
20Do not be like children in your thinking, my brothers and sisters; be children so far as evil is concerned, but be grown-up in your thinking. 21In the Scriptures it is written:
“By means of people speaking strange languages
I will speak to my people, says the Lord.
I will speak through lips of foreigners,
but even then my people will not listen to me.”
22So then, the gift of speaking in strange tongues is proof for unbelievers, not for believers, while the gift of proclaiming God's message is proof for believers, not for unbelievers.
23If, then, the whole church meets together and everyone starts speaking in strange tongues — and if some ordinary people or unbelievers come in, won't they say that you are all crazy? 24But if everyone is proclaiming God's message when some unbelievers or ordinary people come in, they will be convinced of their sin by what they hear. They will be judged by all they hear, 25their secret thoughts will be brought into the open, and they will bow down and worship God, confessing, “Truly God is here among you!”
Order in the Church
26This is what I mean, my brothers and sisters. When you meet for worship, one person has a hymn, another a teaching, another a revelation from God, another a message in strange tongues, and still another the explanation of what is said. Everything must be of help to the church. 27If someone is going to speak in strange tongues, two or three at the most should speak, one after the other, and someone else must explain what is being said. 28But if no one is there who can explain, then the one who speaks in strange tongues must be quiet and speak only to himself and to God. 29Two or three who are given God's message should speak, while the others are to judge what they say. 30But if someone sitting in the meeting receives a message from God, the one who is speaking should stop. 31All of you may proclaim God's message, one by one, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged. 32The gift of proclaiming God's message should be under the speaker's control, 33because God does not want us to be in disorder but in harmony and peace.
As in all the churches of God's people, 34the women should keep quiet in the meetings. They are not allowed to speak; as the Jewish Law says, they must not be in charge. 35If they want to find out about something, they should ask their husbands at home. It is a disgraceful thing for a woman to speak in church.
36Or could it be that the word of God came from you? Or are you the only ones to whom it came? 37If anyone supposes he is God's messenger or has a spiritual gift, he must realize that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command. 38But if he does not pay attention to this, pay no attention to him.
39So then, my brothers and sisters, set your hearts on proclaiming God's message, but do not forbid the speaking in strange tongues. 40Everything must be done in a proper and orderly way.
1And now I want to remind you, my brothers and sisters, of the Good News which I preached to you, which you received, and on which your faith stands firm. 2That is the gospel, the message that I preached to you. You are saved by the gospel if you hold firmly to it — unless it was for nothing that you believed.
3I passed on to you what I received, which is of the greatest importance: that Christ died for our sins, as written in the Scriptures; 4that he was buried and that he was raised to life three days later, as written in the Scriptures; 5that he appeared to Peter and then to all twelve apostles. 6Then he appeared to more than 500 of his followers at once, most of whom are still alive, although some have died. 7Then he appeared to James, and afterwards to all the apostles.
8Last of all he appeared also to me — even though I am like someone whose birth was abnormal.9For I am the least of all the apostles — I do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted God's church. 10But by God's grace I am what I am, and the grace that he gave me was not without effect. On the contrary, I have worked harder than any of the other apostles, although it was not really my own doing, but God's grace working with me. 11So then, whether it came from me or from them, this is what we all preach, and this is what you believe.
12Now, since our message is that Christ has been raised from death, how can some of you say that the dead will not be raised to life? 13If that is true, it means that Christ was not raised; 14and if Christ has not been raised from death, then we have nothing to preach and you have nothing to believe. 15More than that, we are shown to be lying about God, because we said that he raised Christ from death — but if it is true that the dead are not raised to life, then he did not raise Christ. 16For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised. 17And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is a delusion and you are still lost in your sins. 18It would also mean that the believers in Christ who have died are lost. 19If our hope in Christ is good for this life only and no more, then we deserve more pity than anyone else in all the world.
20But the truth is that Christ has been raised from death, as the guarantee that those who sleep in death will also be raised. 21For just as death came by means of a man, in the same way the rising from death comes by means of a man. 22For just as all people die because of their union with Adam, in the same way all will be raised to life because of their union with Christ. 23But each one will be raised in the right order: Christ, first of all; then, at the time of his coming, those who belong to him. 24Then the end will come; Christ will overcome all spiritual rulers, authorities, and powers, and will hand over the Kingdom to God the Father. 25For Christ must rule until God defeats all enemies and puts them under his feet. 26The last enemy to be defeated will be death. 27For the scripture says, “God put all things under his feet.” It is clear, of course, that the words “all things” do not include God himself, who puts all things under Christ. 28But when all things have been placed under Christ's rule, then he himself, the Son, will place himself under God, who placed all things under him; and God will rule completely over all.
29Now, what about those people who are baptized for the dead? What do they hope to accomplish? If it is true, as some claim, that the dead are not raised to life, why are those people being baptized for the dead? 30And as for us — why would we run the risk of danger every hour? 31My brothers and sisters, I face death every day! The pride I have in you, in our life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord, makes me declare this. 32If I have, as it were, fought “wild beasts” here in Ephesus simply from human motives, what have I gained? But if the dead are not raised to life, then, as the saying goes, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we will die.”
33Do not be fooled. “Bad companions ruin good character.” 34Come back to your right senses and stop your sinful ways. I declare to your shame that some of you do not know God.
The Resurrection Body
35Someone will ask, “How can the dead be raised to life? What kind of body will they have?” 36You fool! When you sow a seed in the ground, it does not sprout to life unless it dies. 37And what you sow is a bare seed, perhaps a grain of wheat or some other grain, not the full-bodied plant that will later grow up. 38God provides that seed with the body he wishes; he gives each seed its own proper body.
39And the flesh of living beings is not all the same kind of flesh; human beings have one kind of flesh, animals another, birds another, and fish another.
40And there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies; the beauty that belongs to heavenly bodies is different from the beauty that belongs to earthly bodies. 41The sun has its own beauty, the moon another beauty, and the stars a different beauty; and even among stars there are different kinds of beauty.
42This is how it will be when the dead are raised to life. When the body is buried, it is mortal; when raised, it will be immortal. 43When buried, it is ugly and weak; when raised, it will be beautiful and strong. 44When buried, it is a physical body; when raised, it will be a spiritual body. There is, of course, a physical body, so there has to be a spiritual body. 45For the scripture says, “The first man, Adam, was created a living being”; but the last Adam is the life-giving Spirit. 46It is not the spiritual that comes first, but the physical, and then the spiritual. 47The first Adam, made of earth, came from the earth; the second Adam came from heaven. 48Those who belong to the earth are like the one who was made of earth; those who are of heaven are like the one who came from heaven. 49Just as we wear the likeness of the man made of earth, so we will wear the likeness of the Man from heaven.
50What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that what is made of flesh and blood cannot share in God's Kingdom, and what is mortal cannot possess immortality.
51-52Listen to this secret truth: we shall not all die, but when the last trumpet sounds, we shall all be changed in an instant, as quickly as the blinking of an eye. For when the trumpet sounds, the dead will be raised, never to die again, and we shall all be changed. 53For what is mortal must be changed into what is immortal; what will die must be changed into what cannot die. 54So when this takes place, and the mortal has been changed into the immortal, then the scripture will come true: “Death is destroyed; victory is complete!”
55“Where, Death, is your victory?
Where, Death, is your power to hurt?”
56Death gets its power to hurt from sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. 57But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
58So then, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and steady. Keep busy always in your work for the Lord, since you know that nothing you do in the Lord's service is ever useless.
1Now, concerning what you wrote about the money to be raised to help God's people in Judea. You must do what I told the churches in Galatia to do. 2Every Sunday each of you must put aside some money, in proportion to what you have earned, and save it up, so that there will be no need to collect money when I come. 3After I come, I shall give letters of introduction to those you have approved, and send them to take your gift to Jerusalem. 4If it seems worthwhile for me to go, then they can go along with me.
5I shall come to you after I have gone through Macedonia — for I have to go through Macedonia. 6I shall probably spend some time with you, perhaps the whole winter, and then you can help me to continue my journey, wherever it is I shall go next. 7I want to see you more than just briefly in passing; I hope to spend quite a long time with you, if the Lord allows.
8I will stay here in Ephesus until the day of Pentecost. 9There is a real opportunity here for great and worthwhile work, even though there are many opponents.
10If Timothy comes your way, be sure to make him feel welcome among you, because he is working for the Lord, just as I am. 11No one should look down on him, but you must help him to continue his trip in peace, so that he will come back to me; for I am expecting him back with the brothers and sisters.
12Now, about brother Apollos. I have often encouraged him to visit you with the other believers, but he is not completely convinced that he should go at this time. When he gets the chance, however, he will go.
13Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14Do all your work in love.
15You know about Stephanas and his family; they are the first Christian converts in Achaia and have given themselves to the service of God's people. I beg you, my brothers and sisters, 16to follow the leadership of such people as these, and of anyone else who works and serves with them.
17I am happy about the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus; they have made up for your absence 18and have cheered me up, just as they cheered you up. Such men as these deserve notice.
19The churches in the province of Asia send you their greetings; Aquila and Priscilla and the church that meets in their house send warm Christian greetings. 20All the believers here send greetings.
Greet one another with a holy kiss.
21With my own hand I write this: Greetings from Paul.
22Whoever does not love the Lord — a curse on him!