1 Now concerning spiritual [i.e., supernatural] gifts, brothers, I want you to be [fully] knowledgeable. 2 You people know that when you were [still unconverted] Gentiles, you were led astray to [worship] lifeless idols, however you were led [i.e., wherever you turned, you were being led into idolatrous practices]. 3 Therefore, I am telling you that no one who speaks under the influence of the Holy Spirit of God says, "Jesus is cursed!" And no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
4 Now there are a variety of [spiritual] gifts, but [they are given by] the same Holy Spirit. 5 And there are a variety of services, but [they are rendered to] the same Lord. 6 And there are a variety of [Christian] activities, but the same God provides the power for everyone to do all of them [i.e., it is God who empowers every person who has a gift]. 7 But the evidence of the Holy Spirit's [power] is given to each person for the good of everyone.
8 For one person is given the [supernatural] message of wisdom through the Holy Spirit; another person is given the [supernatural] message of knowledge by means of the same Holy Spirit. 9 Still another person is given [supernatural] faith [See 13:2] by the same Holy Spirit; yet another person is given gifts [providing the ability] to perform [supernatural] healings by that one Holy Spirit. 10 Another [is given] the ability to perform miracles; and another [is given] the ability to prophesy [supernaturally]; and another [is given] the ability to speak in different languages [supernaturally]; and still another [is given] the ability to interpret those languages [supernaturally].
11 Now all of these [supernatural gifts] are the work of one and the same Holy Spirit, who distributes them to each person individually as He desires.
12 For [just] as the human body is one [unit], made up of many parts, and all the many parts make up a single body, so it is with Christ. [Note: Just as a human body is a single unit, and Christ is a single being, so the members of His body, the church, constitute one body. See verses 27-28]. 13 For we were all immersed by means of the one Holy Spirit into one body [i.e., the church], whether [we were] Jews or Greeks [i.e., Gentiles], whether slaves or free people, and were all given the one [and the same] Holy Spirit to drink. [Note: This probably refers to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, given to all immersed believers. See John 7:37-39; Acts 2:38]. 14 For the human body is not made up of [only] one part, but of many parts. 15 If the foot should say, "I am not part of the body because I'm not the hand," that does not mean it is not part of the body [does it ?]. 16 And if the ear should say, "I am not part of the body because I am not the eye," that does not mean it is not part of the body [does it ?] 17 If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear? If the whole body were an ear, how could it smell? 18 But the way it is, God has placed each individual part in the human body just as it pleased Him. 19 And if all the parts were one part, how could there be a [whole] body? 20 But the way it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I do not need you," or again, the head [cannot say] to the feet, "I do not need you." 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body which seem to be weaker [i.e., delicate organs like the heart, lungs, kidneys, etc.] are necessary [for life]. 23 And those parts of the body which we consider less honorable [i.e., probably female breasts, buttocks, etc.], we clothe with greater honor. [Note: The Greek word for "clothe" here refers to clothing elsewhere in the New Testament]. And our unpresentable parts [i.e., probably sex organs] need to be more presentable [i.e., by being covered up with modest clothing], 24 whereas, our presentable parts [i.e., probably face and hands] do not need [covering up]. But God has put the body together [in such a way as] to give greater honor to that part which lacked it, 25 so that there would not be any division in the body [Note: Paul here leaves the analogy of the physical body and makes application to the spiritual body, the church], but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 So, if one part [i.e., one Christian] suffers, then all the parts [i.e., the other Christians] should suffer with it. Or, if one part is honored, all the [other] parts should rejoice with it.
27 Now you people are the [spiritual] body of Christ and each one of you is an individual part of it. 28 Now God has placed some [ministries] in the church [as follows]: First apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then [those able to perform] miracles, then gifts [enabling people] to perform [supernatural] healings, [those able] to help the needy, [wise] administrators, [and] those able to speak in different languages. 29 Are all [ministers in the church] apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all perform miracles? 30 Do all have gifts [enabling them] to perform [supernatural] healings? Do all speak in languages? Do all interpret [those languages]?
31 [Obviously not], but you should eagerly desire the more important gifts. And now I will show you a much better way [i.e., a better way to serve one another in the church than using supernatural gifts]: