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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 xxix. 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. ix. 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.
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Greeting
1Paul, #Rom. 1:1called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ #2 Cor. 1:1through the will of God, and #Acts 18:17Sosthenes our brother,
2To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who #(Acts 15:9)are sanctified in Christ Jesus, #Rom. 1:7; Eph. 4:1; 1 Thess. 2:12called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ #(1 Cor. 8:6)our Lord, #(Rom. 3:22)both theirs and ours:
3#Rom. 1:7Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Spiritual Gifts at Corinth
4#Rom. 1:8I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5that you were enriched in everything by Him #(1 Cor. 12:8)in all utterance and all knowledge, 6even as #2 Thess. 1:10; 1 Tim. 2:6; 2 Tim. 1:8; Rev. 1:2the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 7so that you come short in no gift, eagerly #Luke 17:30; Rom. 8:19, 23; Phil. 3:20; Titus 2:13; (2 Pet. 3:12)waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8#1 Thess. 3:13; 5:23who will also confirm you to the end, #Phil. 1:6; Col. 1:22; 2:7that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9#Deut. 7:9; Is. 49:7; 1 Cor. 10:13; 2 Cor. 1:18; 1 Thess. 5:24; 2 Thess. 3:3God is faithful, by whom you were called into #(John 15:4)the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sectarianism Is Sin
10Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, #2 Cor. 13:11; 1 Pet. 3:8that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12Now I say this, that #Matt. 3:8–10; 1 Cor. 3:4each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of #Acts 18:24; 1 Cor. 3:22Apollos,” or “I am of #John 1:42; 1 Cor. 3:22; 9:5; 15:5Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13#2 Cor. 11:4Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
14I thank God that I baptized #John 4:2none of you except #Acts 18:8Crispus and #Rom. 16:23Gaius, 15lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. 16Yes, I also baptized the household of #1 Cor. 16:15, 17Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, #(1 Cor. 2:1, 4, 13)not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
Christ the Power and Wisdom of God
18For the message of the cross is #1 Cor. 2:14foolishness to #2 Cor. 2:15those who are perishing, but to us #(1 Cor. 15:2)who are being saved it is the #Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:24power of God. 19For it is written:
#Is. 29:14“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
20#Is. 19:12; 33:18Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? #Job 12:17; Matt. 13:22; 1 Cor. 2:6, 8; 3:18, 19Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21For since, in the #Dan. 2:20; (Rom. 11:33)wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22For #Matt. 12:38; Mark 8:11; John 2:18; 4:48Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23but we preach Christ crucified, #Is. 8:14; Luke 2:34; John 6:60; Gal. 5:11; (1 Pet. 2:8)to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks #(1 Cor. 2:14)foolishness, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ #(Rom. 1:4)the power of God and #Col. 2:3the wisdom of God. 25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Glory Only in the Lord
26For you see your calling, brethren, #John 7:48that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27But #Ps. 8:2; Matt. 11:25God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and #Jer. 23:5; 33:16; (2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9)righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31that, as it is written, #Jer. 9:23, 24; 2 Cor. 10:17“He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”