ST. PAULíS First Epistle to the CORINTHIANS
Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God, and Sosthenes the brother, To the Church of God, which is in Corinth, to them who are sanctified through Christ Jesus, called and holy, with all that in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both theirs and ours: Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given to you by Christ Jesus. That in every thing ye are enriched through him, in all utterance and in all knowledge; as the testimony of Christ was confirmed among you: So that ye are wanting in no good gift, waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful by whom ye were called into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you, but that ye be perfectly joined together, in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared to me of you, my brethren, by them of the family of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, every one of you saith, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you but Crispus and Gaius: Lest any should say that I had baptized in my own name. I baptized also the house of Stephanas. I know not that I baptized any other.
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel; but not with wisdom of speech, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the doctrine of the cross is indeed to them that perish foolishness: But to us who are saved, it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and abolish the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For whereas the Jews demand signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness: But to them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. Behold your calling, brethren: That not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and the weak things of the world hath God chosen to shame the things that are mighty: And the base things of the world, and things that are despised, hath God chosen; yea, things that are not, to bring to naught the things that are; that no flesh may glory before God. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who is made by God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with loftiness of speech or of wisdom, declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with the persuasive words of human wisdom, but with the demonstration of the Spirit and of power; that your faith might not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Yet we speak wisdom among the perfect; but not the wisdom of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the hidden wisdom of God in a mystery, which God ordained before the world for our glory; which none of the rulers of this world knew; for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor hath ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of men, what things God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them to us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, even the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, but the spirit of a man which is in him? So the things of God also knoweth no one, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we may know the things which are freely given to us of God. Which also we speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things by spiritual words. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But the spiritual man discerneth indeed all things, yet he himself is discerned by no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal as unto babes in Christ. I fed you with milk, not with meat; for ye were not able to bear it: nor are ye now able. For ye are still carnal: For while there is among you emulation, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk according to man? For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then, neither is he that planteth any thing, nor he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. But he that planteth and he that watereth are one; and every one shall receive his own reward, according to his own labor. For we are fellow laborers of God: Ye are Godís husbandry, ye are Godís building. According to the grace of God given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon; but let every one take heed how he buildeth thereon. For other foundation can no man lay than what is laid, which is Jesus Christ: And if any one build on this foundation, gold, silver, costly stones; wood, hay, stubble; every oneís work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it: For it is revealed by fire; yea, the fire shall try every oneís work, of what sort it is. If any oneís work which he hath built thereon shall remain, he shall receive a reward. If any oneís work shall be burnt, he shall suffer loss, but himself shall be saved, yet so as through the fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man destroy the temple of God, him shall God destroy: For the temple of God is holy; which temple ye are. Let none deceive himself. If any one among you thinketh himself to be wise, let him become a fool in this world, that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God; as it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the reasonings of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let none glory in men; for all things are yours: Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas; or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours, and ye are Christís, and Christ is Godís.
Let a man so account us, as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But it is a very small thing with me to be judged by you, or by any manís judgment: Yea, I judge not my self. For I am not conscious to myself of any thing, yet am I not hereby justified; but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and manifest the counsels of the hearts. And then shall every man have praise from God.
These things, brethren, I have by a figure transferred to myself and Apollos, for your sakes; that ye may learn by us not to think of men above what is here written, that ye may not be puffed up for one against another. For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou which thou hast not received? But if thou hast received it, why dost thou boast, as if thou hadst not received it? Now ye are full: Now ye are rich: Ye have reigned as kings without us. And I would ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. For I know assuredly, God hath set forth us, the apostles, last, as appointed to death; for we are made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christís sake; but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak; but ye are strong; ye are honorable; but we without honor. Even to this present hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain abode, and labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless: Being persecuted we suffer it: Being defamed, we entreat: We are made as the filth of the world, and offscouring of all things to this day. I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children, I warn you. For if ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers; for I have begotten you in Christ Jesus through the Gospel. I beseech you therefore, be ye followers of me. For this cause I have sent to you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach every where in every church. Now some are puffed up, as if I would not come to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord permit, and will know, not the speech of them who are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in speech, but in power. What will ye? That I come to you with a rod? Or in love, and the spirit of meekness?
It is commonly reported that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not even heard of among the heathens, that one should have his fatherís wife. And are ye puffed up? Have ye not rather mourned, that he who hath done this deed might be taken from among you? For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have already, as if I were present, judged him who hath so done this. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such a one to Satan, for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good: Know ye not, that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out the old leaven that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened; for our Passover is slain for us, even Christ: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of wickedness and malignity, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
I wrote to you in an epistle, not to converse with lewd persons. But not altogether with the lewd persons of this world, or the covetous, or the rapacious, or idolaters, for then ye must go out of the world. But I have now written unto you, if any who is named a brother be a lewd person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or rapacious, not to converse with such a one, no, not to eat with him. For what have I to do to judge them that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within? (But them that are without God will judge.) And ye will take away from among yourselves the wicked person.
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, refer it to the unjust, and not to the saints? Know ye not, that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things pertaining to this life? If then ye have any controversies of things pertaining to this life, do ye set them to judge who are of no esteem in the Church? I speak to your shame. What, is there not so much as one wise man among you, that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and this before the infidels. Indeed there is altogether a fault among you, that ye have contests with each other. Why do ye not rather suffer wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud even your brethren. Know ye not that the unjust shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor Sodomites, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor revilers, nor the rapacious, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
All things are lawful for me; but all things are not expedient: All things are lawful for me; but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats are for the belly, and the belly for meats; yet God will destroy both it and them. But the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power. Know ye not, that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid. Know ye not, that he who is joined to a harlot is one body? For they two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doth, is without the body; but he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body. Know ye not, that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom ye have from God? And ye are not your own: For ye are bought with a price: Therefore glorify God with your body and your spirit, which are Godís.
Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote to me, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. Yet to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife: And let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render the debt to the wife; and in like manner the wife to the husband. The wife hath not power over her own body, but the husband: And in like manner the husband also hath not power over his own body, but the wife. Withdraw not from each other, unless it be by consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves up to fasting and prayer, and may come together again, lest Satan tempt you through your incontinence. But I say this by permission not by way of precept. For I would that all men were even as myself: But every one hath his proper gift from God, one after this manner, and another after that.
But to the unmarried and the widows I say, It is good for them if they remain even as I. But if they have not power over themselves, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn.
The married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, That the wife depart not from her husband. But if she depart let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband. And let not the husband put away his wife. To the rest speak I, not the Lord. If any brother hath an unbelieving wife, and she consent to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the wife who hath an unbelieving husband, that consenteth to live with her, let her not put him away. For the unbelieving husband hath been sanctified by the wife; and the unbelieving wife hath been sanctified by the husband. Else were your children unclean; but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever depart, let him depart: A brother or a sister is not enslaved in such cases; but God hath called us to peace. For how knowest thou, wife, but thou mayest save thy husband? Or how knowest thou, husband, but thou mayest save thy wife? But as God hath distributed to every one, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And thus I ordain in all the Churches. Is any one called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised: Is any one called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God. Let every one in the calling wherein he is called, therein abide. Wast thou called, being a bond man? care not for it: But if thou canst be made free, use it rather. For he that is called by the Lord, being a bond man, is the Lordís free man; and in the like manner, he that is called being free, is the bond man of Christ. Ye are bought with a price; do not become the bond slaves of men. Brethren, let every one wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
Now concerning virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord; but I give my judgment as one who hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. I apprehend, therefore, that this is good for the present distress, that it is good for a man to continue as he is. Art thou bound to a wife? seek not to be loosed: Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. Yet if thou dost marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless, such will have trouble in the flesh; but I spare you. But this I say, brethren, the time is short: It remaineth, that even they that have wives, be as if they had none: And they that weep, as if they wept not; and they that rejoice, as if they rejoiced not, and they that buy, as if they possessed not; and they that use this world, as not abusing it; for the fashion of this world passeth away: Now I would have you without carefulness. The unmarried man careth for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But the married careth for the things of the world, how he may please his wife. There is a difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit: But the married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I say for your own profit, not that I may cast a snare upon you, but that ye may decently wait upon the Lord, and without distraction. But if any think that he acteth indecently toward his virgin, if she be above age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: Let them marry. Nevertheless, he that standeth steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but having power over his own will, and hath determined this in his heart, to keep his virgin, doth well. So then he also that giveth in marriage, doth well, but he that giveth not in marriage, doth better.
The wife is bound as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to marry whom she will; only in the Lord. But she is happier if she continue as she is, in my judgment; and I think that I also have the Spirit of God.
Now as to things sacrificed to idols, we know; for all of us have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth. And if any one think he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any one love God, he is known by him. I say, as to the eating of things, sacrificed to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, (as there are many gods and many lords,) Yet to us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we for him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. But there is not in all men this knowledge; for some do even until now, with consciousness of the idol, eat it as sacrificed to the idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
But meat commendeth us not to God; for neither if we eat, are we the better, nor if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed, lest by any means this your liberty become a stumbling block to the weak. For if any one see thee, who hast knowledge, sitting at meat in an idol temple, will not the conscience of him that is weak be encouraged to eat of the things sacrificed to the idol? And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died. But when ye sin thus against your brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, yet I am to you; for ye are the seal of my apostleship. My answer to them who examine me is this: Have we not power to eat and to drink? Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as the other apostles, and brethren of the Lord, and Peter? Or I only and Barnabas, have we not power to forbear working? Who ever serveth as a soldier at his own charge? Who planteth a vineyard, and doth not eat its fruit ? Or who feedeth a flock, and doth not eat of the milk of the flock? Do I speak these things as a man? Doth not the law also speak the same? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or speaketh he altogether for our sakes? for our sakes it was written: For he who plougheth ought to plough in hope, and he that thresheth in hope ought to be a partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great matter, if we shall reap your carnal things? If others partake of this power over you, do not we rather? Yet we have not used this power: But we suffer all things lest we should give any hindrance to the Gospel of Christ. Know ye not that they who are employed about holy things, are fed out of the temple? And they who wait at the altar, are partakers with the altar? So also hath the Lord ordained, that they who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel. But have used none of these things; nor have I written thus, that it might be done so unto me: For it were better for me to die, than that any man should make this my glorying void. For if I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of: For a necessity lieth upon me, and woe to me if I preach not the Gospel. If indeed I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if unwillingly, yet a dispensation is entrusted to me. What then is my reward? that when I preach the Gospel, I may make the Gospel without charge, that I abuse not my power in the Gospel. For though I am free from all men, I made myself the servant of all, that I might gain the more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews: To them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law: To them that are without the law, as without the law, (being not without the law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without the law. To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak: I became all things to all men, that by all means I might save some. And this I do for the Gospelís sake, that I may be partaker thereof with you. Know ye not, that they who run in the race, all run: But one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain. And every one that contendeth, is temperate in all things: And they indeed, to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; I so fight, not as one that beateth the air. But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest by any means, after having preached to others, I myself should become a reprobate.
Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. And were all baptized unto Moses, in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual meat, and all drank the same spiritual drink (for they drank out of the spiritual rock which followed them; and that rock was Christ.) Yet with the most of them God was not well pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, that we might not desire evil things, as they desired. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them, as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them for examples and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages are come. Therefore let him that most assuredly standeth, take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above your ability, but will with the temptation make also a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, being many, are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of the one bread. Consider Israel after the flesh. Are not they who eat of the sacrifices, partakers of the altar? What say I then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is any thing? Or that an idol is any thing? But that what the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God. Now I would not that ye should be partakers with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils; ye cannot he partakers of the table of the Lord, and the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? All things are lawful for me; but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful for me; but all things edify not. Let no one seek his own, but every one anotherís welfare. Whatever is sold in the shambles eat, asking no questions for conscienceí sake. For the earth is the Lordís, and the fullness thereof. And if any of the unbelievers invite you, and ye are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no questions for conscienceí sake. But if any one say to you, This hath been sacrificed to an idol, eat not, for his sake that showed thee, and for conscience sake. Conscience I say, not thy own, but that of the other: For why is my liberty judged by anotherís conscience? For if I by grace am a partaker, why am I blamed for that for which I give thanks? Therefore whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to the Jews, or to the Gentiles, or to the Church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but that of many, that they may be saved.
Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the orders, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, dishonoreth his head. But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered, dishonoreth her head; for it is the same as if she were shaved. Therefore if a woman is not covered, let her also be shaved: But if it be shameful for a woman to have her hair shaved off or cut short, let her be covered. A man indeed ought not to have his head covered, being the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the sake of the woman, but the woman for the sake of the man. For this cause also the woman ought to have a veil upon her head, because of the angels: Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord. And as the woman was of the man, so also the man is by the woman; but all things are of God. Judge of yourselves: Is it decent for a woman to pray to God uncovered? Doth not nature itself teach you, that for a man to have long hair, is a disgrace to him? Whereas for a woman to have long hair, is a glory to her; for her hair was given her instead of a veil. But if any one be resolved to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
But in this which I declare, I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first, when ye come together in the Church, I hear there are schisms among you (and I partly believe it. For there must be heresies also among you, that the approved among you may be manifest). Therefore when ye come together into one place, it is not eating the Lordís Supper. For in eating every one taketh before another his own supper, and one is hungry, another drinks largely. What! have ye not houses to eat and drink in? or do ye despise the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus, the night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of me. In like manner also he took the cup after he had supped, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: Do this as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye show forth the Lordís death till he come. So that whosoever eateth the bread and drinketh the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not distinguishing the Lordís body. For this cause many are sick and weak among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, wait one for another. And if any one be hungry, let him eat at home, that ye come not together to condemnation. And the rest I will set in order when I come.
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know the when ye were heathens, ye were carried away after dumb idols, as ye were led. Therefore I give you to know, that as no one speaking by the Spirit of God, calleth Jesus accursed; no one can say, Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of ministrations, but the same Lord: And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God who worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each, to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit, the word of wisdom, to another by the same Spirit, the word of knowledge; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gift of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another the discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit worketh all these, dividing to every one severally as he willeth.
For as the body is one, and yet hath many members, but all the members of the body, many as they are, are one body, so is Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, whether slaves or freemen: And we have all drank of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot should say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members, every one in the body as it hath pleased him. And if all were one member, where were the body? Whereas now there are indeed many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee; or again, the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Yea, the members of the body, which appear to be weaker, are much more necessary. And those which we think to be the less honorable parts of the body, these we surround with more abundant honor, and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need; but God hath tempered the body together, giving more abundant honor to that which lacked: That there might be no schism in the body, but that the members might have the same care for each other; and whether one member suffer, all the members might suffer with it, or one member be honored, all the members might rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
And God hath set in the church, first, apostles, secondly, prophets, thirdly, teachers; afterward miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Have all miraculous powers? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? Yet covet earnestly the best gifts. But I show unto you a more excellent way.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I give all my goods to feed the poor, and deliver up my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long and is kind; love envieth not; love acteth not rashly, is not puffed up: Doth not behave indecently, seeketh not her own, is not provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth: Covereth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth: But whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. And when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall vanish away. When I was a child I talked as a child; I understood as a child, I reasoned as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. And now we see by means of a glass obscurely; but then face to face: Now I know in part, but then I shall know, even as also I am known. And now abide these three, faith, hope, love; but the greatest of these is love.
Follow after love: and desire spiritual gifts; but especially that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue, speaketh not to men, but to God; for no one understandeth him, though by the Spirit he speaketh mysteries: Whereas he that prophesieth, speaketh to men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue, edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth, edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied; for he that prophesieth is greater than he that speaketh with tongues, unless he interpret, that the church may receive edification. Now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, unless I speak to you, either by revelation or by knowledge, or by prophecy, or by doctrine? So inanimate things which give a sound, whether pipe or harp, unless they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? And if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for the battle? So likewise unless ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? For ye will speak to the air. Let there be ever so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them without signification; yet if I know not the meaning of the language, I shall be a barbarian to him that speaketh, and he that speaketh a barbarian to me. So ye also, seeing ye desire spiritual gifts, seek to abound in them, to the edifying of the church. Therefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue, pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What then is my duty? I will pray with the Spirit; but I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the Spirit; but I will sing with the understanding also. Otherwise if thou givest thanks with the Spirit, how shall he that filleth the place of a private person, say Amen to thy thanksgiving, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well; yet the other is not edified. I thank God that I speak with tongues more than you all. Yet in the congregation I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. Brethren, be not children in understanding; in wickedness be ye as infants, but in understanding be ye grown men. It is written in the law, In foreign tongues and with foreign lips will I speak to this people; and neither so will they hear me, saith the Lord. So that tongues are for a sign, not to believers, but to unbelievers; whereas prophecy is not for unbelievers, but for believers. Yet if the whole church be met together, and all speak with unknown tongues, and there come in ignorant persons, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? Whereas if all prophesy, and there come in an unbeliever, or an ignorant person, he is convicted by all, he is judged by all: The secrets of his heart are made manifest, and so falling down on his face, he will worship God, and declare that God is among you of a truth.
What a thing is it, brethren, that when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation? Let all things be done to edification. If any one speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two or three at most, and that by course, let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him be silent in the Church, and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three of the prophets speak, and let the rest judge. But if anything be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first be silent. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. For the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. Let your women be silent in the churches; for it is not permitted them to speak, but to be in subjection, as the law also saith. And if they desire to learn any thing, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is indecent for a woman to speak in the assembly. Did the word of God come out from you? or did it come out to you alone? If anyone think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any one is ignorant, let him be ignorant. Therefore, brethren, covet to prophesy; yet forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the Gospel which I preached to you, which also ye received, and wherein ye stand. By which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast in what manner I preached to you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered to you first, that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures: And that he was buried, and that he was raised the third day, according to the scriptures: And that he was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. Afterward he was seen by above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain until now, but some are fallen asleep. After this he was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Last of all he was seen by me also, as an untimely birth. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am; and his grace toward me was not in vain, but I labored more abundantly than they all: Yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether therefore I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. But if Christ is preached, that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? For if there be no resurrection of the dead, neither is Christ raised. And if Christ be not raised, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified from God, that he raised up Christ, whom he did not raise, if the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, neither is Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are still in your sins. Then also they who sleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are more miserable than all men. But now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as through Adam all die, even so through Christ shall all be made alive. But every one in his own order: Christ, the first fruits, afterward they who are Christís at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that is destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, All things are put under him, it is manifest, that he who did put all things under him, is excepted. But when all things shall be put under him, then shall the Son himself also be subject to him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. Else what shall they do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead rise not at all, why are they then baptized for them? Why are we also in danger every hour? I protest by your rejoicing, brethren, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me if the dead rise not? Let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die. Be not deceived. Evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
But some one will say, How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be, but bare grain, perhaps of wheat, or of any other corn: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to each of the seeds its own body. All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one kind of flesh of men, another of beasts, another of birds, another of fishes. There are also heavenly bodies, and there are earthly bodies: But the glory of the heavenly is one, and that of the earthly another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: And one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead: It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown an animal body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is an animal body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam is a quickening Spirit. Yet the spiritual body was not first, but the animal; afterward the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As was the earthy, such are they also that are earthy, and as was the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have born the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. But this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. Death, where is thy sting? Hades, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
Concerning the collection for the saints, as I have ordered the churches of Galatia, so also do ye. On the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store according as he hath been prospered, that there may be no collections when I come. And when I am come, whosoever ye shall approve, them will I send with letters, to carry your gift to Jerusalem. And if it be proper that I also should go, they shall go with me. Now I will come to you, when I have passed through Macedonia, (for I pass through Macedonia). And perhaps I may stay, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me forward on my journey, whithersoever I go. For I will not see you now in my way; but hope to stay some time with you, if the Lord permit. But I will stay at Ephesus till Pentecost. For a great and effectual door is opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
But if Timotheus come, see that he be with you without fear, for he worketh the work of the Lord, even as I. Therefore let no man despise him, but conduct ye him forward on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I look for him with the brethren. As to our brother Apollos, I besought him much to come to you with the brethren; yet he was by no means willing to come now; but he will come when it shall be convenient. Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, acquit yourselves like men; be strong. Let all your affairs be done in love.
And I beseech you, brethren, as ye know the household of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to serve the saints, that ye also submit to such and to every one that worketh with us and laboreth. I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas, and Fortunatus, and Achaicus: For they have supplied what was wanting on your part. For they have refreshed my spirit and yours; such therefore acknowledge. The Churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla, with the Church that is in their house, salute you much in the Lord. All the brethren solute you. Salute one another with a holy kiss.
The salutation of me Paul with my own hand. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema; Maran-atha. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.