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1From Paul. God called me to be an apostle of Christ Jesus because that is what God wanted. Also from Sosthenes, our brother in Christ.
2To the church of God in Corinth, to you who have been made holy in Christ Jesus. You were called to be God’s holy people with all people everywhere who pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:
3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul Gives Thanks to God
4I always thank my God for you because of the grace God has given you in Christ Jesus. 5I thank God because in Christ you have been made rich in every way, in all your speaking and in all your knowledge. 6Just as our witness about Christ has been guaranteed to you, 7so you have every gift from God while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again. 8Jesus will keep you strong until the end so that there will be no wrong in you on the day our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 9God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
Problems in the Church
10I beg you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that all of you agree with each other and not be split into groups. I beg that you be completely joined together by having the same kind of thinking and the same purpose. 11My brothers and sisters, some people from Chloe’s family have told me quite plainly that there are quarrels among you. 12This is what I mean: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another says, “I follow Apollos”; another says, “I follow Peter”; and another says, “I follow Christ.” 13Christ has been divided up into different groups! Did Paul die on the cross for you? No! Were you baptized in the name of Paul? No! 14I thank God I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius 15so that now no one can say you were baptized in my name. 16(I also baptized the family of Stephanas, but I do not remember that I baptized anyone else.) 17Christ did not send me to baptize people but to preach the Good News. And he sent me to preach the Good News without using words of human wisdom so that the cross of Christ would not lose its power.
Christ Is God’s Power and Wisdom
18The teaching about the cross is foolishness to those who are being lost, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19It is written in the Scriptures:
“I will cause the wise to lose their wisdom;
I will make the wise unable to understand.”#Isaiah 29:14
20Where is the wise person? Where is the educated person? Where is the skilled talker of this world? God has made the wisdom of the world foolish. 21In the wisdom of God the world did not know God through its own wisdom. So God chose to use the message that sounds foolish to save those who believe. 22The Jews ask for miracles, and the Greeks want wisdom. 23But we preach a crucified Christ. This causes the Jews to stumble and is foolishness to non-Jews. 24But Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God to those people God has called—Jews and Greeks. 25Even the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26Brothers and sisters, look at what you were when God called you. Not many of you were wise in the way the world judges wisdom. Not many of you had great influence. Not many of you came from important families. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and he chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose what the world thinks is unimportant and what the world looks down on and thinks is nothing in order to destroy what the world thinks is important. 29God did this so that no one can brag in his presence. 30Because of God you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God. In Christ we are put right with God, and have been made holy, and have been set free from sin. 31So, as the Scripture says, “If people want to brag, they should brag only about the Lord.”
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Paul's greeting and prayer
1From Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from Sosthenes, who is also a follower.
2To God's church in Corinth. Christ Jesus chose you to be his very own people, and you worship in his name, as we and all others do who call him Lord.#Ac 18.1.
3My prayer is that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!
4I never stop thanking my God for being kind enough to give you Christ Jesus, 5who helps you speak and understand so well. 6Now you are certain that everything we told you about our Lord Christ Jesus is true. 7You are not missing out on any blessings, as you wait for him to return. 8And until the day Christ does return, he will keep you completely innocent. 9God can be trusted, and he chose you to be partners with his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
A call for unity
Taking sides
10My dear friends, as a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, I beg you to get along with each other. Don't take sides. Always try to agree in what you think. 11Several people from Chloe's family#1.11 family: Family members and possibly slaves and others who may have lived in the house. have already reported to me that you keep arguing with each other. 12They have said that some of you claim to follow me, while others claim to follow Apollos or Peter#1.12 Peter: The Greek text has “Cephas”, which is an Aramaic name meaning “rock”. Peter is the Greek name with the same meaning. or Christ.#Ac 18.24.
13Has Christ been divided up? Was I nailed to a cross for you? Were you baptized in my name? 14I thank God#1.14 I thank God: Some manuscripts have “I thank my God”. that I didn't baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius.#Ac 18.8; Ac 19.29; Ro 16.23. 15Not one of you can say that you were baptized in my name. 16I did baptize the family#1.16 family: See the note at 1.11. of Stephanas, but I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.#1 Co 16.15. 17Christ did not send me to baptize. He sent me to tell the good news without using big words that would make the cross of Christ lose its power.
Christ is God's power and wisdom
18The message about the cross doesn't make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God's power at work. 19As God says in the Scriptures,#Is 29.14 (LXX).
“I will destroy the wisdom
of all who claim
to be wise.
I will confuse those
who think they know
so much.”
20What happened to those wise people? What happened to those experts in the Scriptures? What happened to the ones who think they have all the answers? Didn't God show that the wisdom of this world is foolish?#Job 12.17; Is 19.12; 33.18; Is 44.25. 21God was wise and decided not to let the people of this world use their wisdom to learn about him.
Instead, God chose to save only those who believe the foolish message we preach. 22Jews ask for miracles, and Greeks want something that sounds wise. 23But we preach that Christ was nailed to a cross. Most Jews have problems with this, and most Gentiles think it is foolish. 24Our message is God's power and wisdom for the Jews and the Greeks that he has chosen. 25Even when God is foolish, he is wiser than everyone else, and even when God is weak, he is stronger than everyone else.
26My dear friends, remember what you were when God chose you. The people of this world didn't think that many of you were wise. Only a few of you were in places of power, and not many of you came from important families. 27But God chose the foolish things of this world to put the wise to shame. He chose the weak things of this world to put the powerful to shame.
28What the world thinks is worthless, useless, and nothing at all is what God has used to destroy what the world considers important. 29God did all this to keep anyone from boasting to him. 30You are God's children. He sent Christ Jesus to save us and to make us wise, acceptable, and holy. 31So if you want to boast, do what the Scriptures say and boast about the Lord.#Jr 9.24.