1 Corinthians 1
The divine calling
1I Paul was divinely chosen to be the Apostle of Jesus Christ. In my calling the will of God was made manifest, and in this high office and appointment I now address you who are in Corinth, and with me Sosthenes, brother in the faith. 2We speak to you who have also been sharers in this divine calling, whose lives have been enlarged and purified in Christ Jesus, who have received the holiness that comes from faith — and with you in this appeal I associate all who, in whatever place they may be, wherever we may be, do together with us invoke his name, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. 3May grace come to you, may peace abide with you from God, who is the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
4Because of the grace that has come to you I feel incessant gratitude to God. 5You have found the riches of the Christ; the word and the knowledge of God are spoken and fulfilled in your midst; 6the witness of the Christ is there; it is unassailable evidence; 7and the full measure of His gifts is counted in you, nothing is wanting for your completion, whilst you wait for that unveiling and revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8Yes, there will be no faltering, no failure in his support of you, till you are made perfect, in the “end,” “the day” of our Lord Jesus Christ, the day of perfect revelation. 9For God, through whom this calling, this share in His son Jesus Christ our Lord has come to you, is faithful in all His ways.
No room for disunity in Christ
10Through this name of Jesus Christ our Lord, I urge you — for that is the secret of his name — to have one mind, one persuasion and precept amongst you, to be all of one mind with one idea. O let schisms and divisions be unknown to you, for your perfection is in unity. 11Strifes there are amongst you, it has come to my knowledge through the members who meet in Chloe’s house. 12They tell me some describe themselves as disciples of Paul, others of Apollos, others of Cephas, others of Christ — 13but Christ is not divided. I was not crucified for you, nor were you baptised into my name. 14-15For this very reason I was careful not to baptise disciples personally amongst you. It is to me a cause of gratitude to God that I baptised only Crispus and Gaius, 16and also the household of Stephanas — not another soul, I think, did I baptise, and purposely, that it might not seem that I was making disciples. 17Christ Jesus sent me not to baptise, but to make known the word of joy, not intellectually, not with the persuasive brilliance of personality and personal influence, lest the cross of the Christ should be obliterated and ruled out.
The foolishness of worldly knowledge
18Cleverness, human wisdom, intellectual strength do not accomplish the mighty works of the Gospel. Ours is the word of the cross; it saves us; there is in it the power of God; but to those who are in the power of death and subject to its ever-increasing dominion, this word appears as folly, as an impertinence. 19And so the word of the Bible comes true:— “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, I will make nothing of the intelligence of those who profess to know.” (Isa 29:14.) 20Where is the wise, the scribe, the learned investigator of material things? God makes the wisdom of the world foolishness, 21forasmuch as it was in that wisdom that the world lost the knowledge of God, it was by reason of that that its eyes were closed, and lo! the wisdom of God now appearing is proclaimed as a thing foolish in the sight of that old wisdom; but the preaching of this heavenly word saves, it saves all who have faith in it, who accept it spiritually. It does not commend itself to the old thought. 22The Jews demand miracles and signs, the Greeks ask first and last for wisdom, 23but it is the crucified Christ that we preach, and that appears a fool’s message to the Greeks, and a scandal to the Jews. 24Think of it! God’s power, God’s wisdom, the Christ, takes on that semblance in the sight of men. 25But there is more wisdom in God’s foolishness than in men’s cleverness, more strength in God’s weakness than in human power. 26Not many wise, powerful, highly placed are found in our number. 27Why? Because this calling of God is not on the lines of anything which the world sets up as important. 28God would not have anything of the flesh to plume itself on a value of its own. Thus it was that He chose that which was weak, despised, unsupported by birth and tradition, that which in the eyes of the world had no existence at all. 29This He chose and by its means He dismantles all the world’s glory, leaving us faith alone. 30For in Christ Jesus your being comes from him, not from the world, and he is your wisdom, your righteousness, your cleansing and your redemption coming to you from God alone, from Him apart from all else, 31in order that as Jeremiah says, “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (Jer. 9:24.) By that saying the prophet referred to the distinction between the talents and qualities that are believed to belong to the flesh and the personal self, and the grace and power that flow from the Spirit only.
Learn More About St Paul from the Trenches 1916
Translated in 1916, published in 1937.
First Letter from Small Man to the Sacred Family in Village of Pleasure 1
1From Small Man (Paul), called to be a message bearer for Creator Sets Free (Jesus) the Chosen One, and from Safe and Strong (Sosthenes), our spiritual brother.
2To the members of Creator’s sacred family who gather in Village of Pleasure (Corinth).
I write to you, the ones who have been made holy in harmony with the Chosen One, Creator Sets Free (Jesus), who have been chosen to walk the road of life with him in a sacred manner. I also write this to all people everywhere who call out to and put their trust in Creator Sets Free (Jesus) our Honored Chief and all that his name represents. He is their Honored Chief and ours.
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
3Great kindness and peace to you from our Father the Great Spirit and from our Honored Chief Creator Sets Free (Jesus), the Chosen One. 4I am always giving thanks to Creator for you, for the gift of his great kindness given to you in Creator Sets Free (Jesus), the Chosen One. 5He has blessed you with the right words to speak and a deep understanding of all things. 6So we can now be sure that your lives are telling the true story of the Chosen One. 7This shows that you have all the spiritual gifts you need as you wait with pounding hearts for the great revealing of our Honored Chief Creator Sets Free (Jesus), the Chosen One.
8He will keep your feet on solid ground and guide you to the end of the trail so that you will have a good reputation when the day comes for our Honored Chief Creator Sets Free (Jesus) the Chosen One to be revealed. 9Creator can be fully trusted for these things, for he is the one who chose you to walk side by side with Creator Sets Free (Jesus), who is the Chosen One and our Honored Chief.
FIRM WORDS OF CORRECTION
10My sacred family members, I come to you representing our Honored Chief Creator Sets Free (Jesus), the Chosen One. I am speaking to you from my heart with firm words. To keep the family from splitting into opposing groups, you must seek harmony with each other and speak with one voice. In this way, you will be joined together with one mind and purpose.
11My sacred family members, some who gather at the house of Tender Grass (Chloe) have made it clear to me that there is much conflict among you. 12It was told to me that one says, “I follow Small Man (Paul).” Another says, “I follow He Tears Down (Apollos).” Another says, “I follow Stands on the Rock (Cephas).”#1:12 Cephas is Aramaic for Peter. And someone else says, “I follow the Chosen One.”
13Has the Chosen One been broken into pieces? Was Small Man (Paul) killed on a cross for you? Did you participate in the purification ceremony#1:13, 14, 15, 16, 17 Baptism under the name of Small Man (Paul)? 14I thank the Great Spirit that I performed the purification ceremony for only Curly Hair (Crispus), Glad Heart (Gaius), and no one else, 15so no one can say their purification ceremony was done in my name.
16I also remember that I performed the purification ceremony for Headdress of Many Feathers (Stephanas) and his family, but I do not remember performing the ceremony for anyone else. 17For the Chosen One did not send me to perform the purification ceremony. He sent me to tell the good story, not with the wisdom found in high-sounding words, because that kind of wisdom empties the cross of the Chosen One of its power.
THE WISDOM OF THE GREAT SPIRIT
18The message of the cross seems foolish to the ones who are walking a path to a bad end. But for us who are being set free and made whole, the message itself is the power of the Great Spirit.
19For it has been written in the Sacred Teachings, “I will tear down the wisdom of the ones who see themselves as wise and undo the understanding of those who think they know all things.”#1:19 Isaiah 29:14
20So then, where are the ones who think they are wise? Where is the scroll keeper who explains the meaning of our tribal law? Where is the trained speaker of this present world? Has not the Great Spirit made the ones who are trusting in the wisdom of this world look foolish? 21In his great wisdom Creator knew that the world through its wisdom would not come to know him. So his heart was glad to rescue and set free the ones who trust in the “foolishness” of the good story we tell.
22The people of the tribes of Wrestles with Creator (Israel) require powerful signs. The Wisdom Seekers (Greeks) search for wisdom. 23But we tell the good story about the Chosen One, who died on a tree-pole—the cross. This message puts a stumbling stone in the path of our Tribal People and is nothing but foolishness to the Outside Nations. 24But to the ones who have been called out from among our Tribal People and the Wisdom Seekers (Greeks), the Chosen One is the power and wisdom of the Great Spirit. 25Creator’s foolishness is wiser than the wisest of human beings, and his weakness is more powerful than the strongest of all.
WHO CREATOR CHOOSES
26My sacred family members, take a look at your own calling. In the eyes of the world, there are not many wise or powerful or of noble birth among you. 27For the Great Spirit has chosen the foolish to shame the wise and the weak to shame the strong. 28He has chosen the ones the world looks down on, those who seem to have nothing to offer, to bring to nothing the ones the world looks up to. 29In this way, no one will be able to boast when they stand before the Great Spirit.
30It is the Great Spirit himself who has brought you into harmony with the Chosen One, Creator Sets Free (Jesus). The Chosen One has become Creator’s wisdom for us. He put us in good standing and made us holy, by paying the highest price to set us free.
31This brings full meaning to the Sacred Teachings that say, “Let the one who boasts boast in what the Great Spirit has done.”#1:31 Jeremiah 9:24
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