1 Corinthians 12:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 12:5, NIV: There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.

1 Corinthians 12:5, ESV: and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;

1 Corinthians 12:5, KJV: And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

1 Corinthians 12:5, NASB: And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.

1 Corinthians 12:5, NLT: There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord.

1 Corinthians 12:5, CSB: There are different ministries, but the same Lord.

What does 1 Corinthians 12:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul wrote in the previous verse that there are different spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Holy Spirit. Now he adds that there are different services. The term translated "services" here is diakoniōn, sometimes rendered as "ministries." All spiritual gifts given by the Spirit are intended for serving others in the body of Christ. None of the spiritual gifts are given as a way of enriching or serving just the one who is gifted.

In this chapter, Paul will list some spiritual gifts and the services those gifts empower Christians to perform. He says here, though, that there is only one Lord. Christ alone is the Lord. He is the one we give our allegiance to even while we use our gifts to serve each other in the church. The overall theme of this passage, and the chapter, is that Christians are equally valuable and equally part of the body, even if they are designed with a different set of gifts.