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1 Corinthians 12:28-31 meaning...

In this passage, Paul is listing various roles and gifts within the church and addressing the question of whether all believers possess these gifts. He also encourages believers to eagerly desire the greater gifts.

Firstly, Paul lists the various roles and gifts that God has placed in the church. He starts with apostles, who were leaders and messengers of the gospel, followed by prophets, who spoke on behalf of God and revealed His will to the church. The third role is teachers, who helped to instruct and guide the church in the ways of God. After this, Paul lists other gifts such as miracles, healing, helping, guidance, and different kinds of tongues. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to give an idea of the diversity of roles and gifts that exist within the church.

Secondly, Paul asks a series of rhetorical questions to emphasize that not all believers possess every gift or role within the church. This is an important reminder that the church is made up of diverse members with different abilities and callings. Just as the human body has many parts with different functions, so too does the church have many members with different gifts and roles. Each member is important and necessary for the overall health and function of the body.

Lastly, Paul encourages believers to eagerly desire the greater gifts. This is not a call to seek after status or power within the church, but rather a call to be open to the work of the Holy Spirit and to use our gifts for the benefit of the church. It is important to note that Paul is not advocating for a hierarchical or competitive view of gifts, but rather an attitude of mutual respect and cooperation within the church. Every gift is important and necessary, and every member of the body should work together for the common good.


In addition to emphasizing the diversity and importance of gifts within the church, this passage also highlights the need for humility and unity within the body of Christ. It is important to recognize that no one member is more important than another, and that each member has a unique role to play in the overall health and function of the church. This means that we should be willing to work together, support each other, and celebrate the gifts and successes of others.

Overall, this passage reminds us of the importance of diversity and unity within the church. It is a call to recognize and celebrate the unique gifts and roles of each member, while also working together for the common good. It is a reminder that we are all part of the same body of Christ, and that our differences should be a source of strength rather than division.

See also: 1 Corinthians 12:24-26


1 Corinthians 12:28-31. God has set some in the assembly: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracle workers, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, and various kinds of languages. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all miracle workers? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with various languages? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts.