The Children's Bible
Paul Writes To His Friends In Corinth
aul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and brother Sosthenes to the church of God at Corinth.
I thank God continually for the blessing which he has given you through Jesus Christ. Through him you have been so richly and fully gifted with every kind of speech and knowledge that you have proved the truth of the testimony which I bore to Christ when I was with you.
Brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I beg of you all to agree in your statement of faith. There must be no quarrels among you, but you must be one both in your way of thinking and in your purpose. For I have been told, brothers, by the members of Chloe's household, that there are quarrels among you.
Avoid all impurity! Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the impure man sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit that is within you, which you have received from God? You do not belong to yourselves, for you were bought for a price. Be sure to honor God with your bodies.
No temptation has come to you that is beyond your power to resist. God is faithful and will not let you be tempted beyond what you can stand; but when the temptation comes, he will provide the way of escape, so that you will have strength to endure.
In all things I can do as I like, but they are not all good for me. In all things I can do as I like, but they do not all make me a better man. Each of us must seek not only his own good but that of his neighbor.
Do you not know that in a race, though all run, only one wins the prize? So run that you may win the prize. Every athlete exercises self-restraint in every way; but while they do this to win a crown that perishes, we do it to secure one that is eternal. So then I run as one who is sure of his goal. I do not plant my blows as a boxer who beats the air; rather I constantly train my body and keep it under control for fear that I, who told others of the contest, might myself be disqualified.
Now brothers, I wish you to understand about spiritual gifts. There are different kinds of gifts, but all are given by the same Spirit. There are different ways of serving, but all are for the same Master. There are different ways in which God's power is shown, but the same God is working in all of you in all these ways. Each is given his own gift of the Spirit for the common good.
Just as a man's body has many parts, and these parts, although many, form only one body, so it is with Christ. For we have all been baptized by the one Spirit so as to form one body. Whether we were Jews or Greeks, slaves or freemen, we have all been given the same Spirit. For the body consists not of one part but of many. If the foot were to say, "Because I am not the hand I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the ear were to say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would be, for all that, a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God gave each part of the body its proper place, exactly as he wished. If they were all only one part, where would the body be? As it is, while there are many parts, there is only one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor can the head say to the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, even those parts of the body which seem weaker are necessary. If one part suffers, all parts suffer with it. If one part is honored, all the parts share its honor.
Now you are one body--the body of Christ, and each of you are parts of it. And God gave each his proper place in the church: apostles first, prophets next, teachers third, then workers of miracles, healers, helpers, and directors.
Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all able to work miracles? Are all healers? Are all able to tell what their words mean? But always seek to attain the highest gifts.
Yet I will show you a far better way. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I am only sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. Even though I have the gift of prophecy, and can understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and have faith enough to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I give all I have to feed the poor and my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love is not envious; love is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act rudely, is not selfish, is never provoked, does not resent wrong; rejoices not in evil, but rejoices in the truth. Love forgives all things, believes all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. As for prophecies they shall come to an end. As for tongues they shall cease. As for knowledge it also shall come to an end; for we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, that which is imperfect shall come to an end.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child; but now that I am a man I have put away childish ways. For now we see only the dim reflection in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know only in part, but then I shall know fully, even as also I am fully known.
And now abide faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.