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1I, Paul, am writing this letter. I have been chosen to be an apostle of Christ Jesus just as God planned. Our brother Sosthenes joins me in writing.
2We are sending this letter to you, the members of God's church in Corinth. You have been made holy because you belong to Christ Jesus. God has chosen you to be his holy people. He has done the same for all those everywhere who pray to our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is their Lord and ours.
3May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Paul Gives Thanks
4I always thank God for you. I thank him because of the grace he has given to you who belong to Christ Jesus. 5You have been blessed in every way because of him. All your teaching of the truth is better. Your understanding of it is more complete. 6Our witness about Christ has been proved to be true in you.
7There is no gift of the Holy Spirit that you don't have. You are full of hope as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again. 8God will keep you strong to the very end. Then you will be without blame on the day our Lord Jesus Christ returns.
9God is faithful. He has chosen you to share life with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Taking Sides in the Church
10Brothers and sisters, I ask all of you to agree with one another. I make my appeal in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then you won't take sides. You will be in complete agreement in all that you think.
11My brothers and sisters, some people who live in Chloe's house have told me you are arguing with each other. 12Here is what I mean. One of you says, "I follow Paul." Another says, "I follow Apollos." Another says, "I follow Peter." And still another says, "I follow Christ."
13Does Christ take sides? Did Paul die on the cross for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14I'm thankful that I didn't baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15No one can say that you were baptized in my name.
16It's true that I also baptized those who live in the house of Stephanas. Besides that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.
17Christ did not send me to baptize. He sent me to preach the good news. He commanded me not to use the kind of wisdom that people commonly use. That would take all the power away from the cross of Christ.
Christ Is God's Power and Wisdom
18The message of the cross seems foolish to those who are lost and dying. But it is God's power to us who are being saved. 19It is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of those who are wise.
I will do away with the cleverness of those who think they are so smart." (Isaiah 29:14)
20Where is the wise person? Where is the educated person? Where are the great thinkers of this world? Hasn't God made the wisdom of the world foolish? 21God wisely planned that the world would not know him through its own wisdom. It pleased God to use the foolish things we preach to save those who believe.
22Jews require miraculous signs. Greeks look for wisdom. 23But we preach about Christ and his death on the cross. That is very hard for Jews to accept. And everyone else thinks it's foolish.
24But there are those God has chosen, both Jews and others. To them Christ is God's power and God's wisdom. 25The foolish things of God are wiser than human wisdom. The weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when God chose you. Not many of you were considered wise by human standards. Not many of you were powerful. Not many of you belonged to important families.
27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. He chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28God chose the things of this world that are common and looked down on. He chose what is not considered to be important to do away with what is considered to be important. 29So no one can brag to God.
30Because of what God has done, you belong to Christ Jesus. He has become God's wisdom for us. He makes us right with God. He makes us holy and sets us free. 31It is written, "The one who brags should brag about what the Lord has done." (Jeremiah 9:24)
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1Greetings from Paul. I was chosen to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. God chose me because that is what he wanted. Greetings also from Sosthenes, our brother in Christ.
2To God’s church in Corinth, you who have been made holy because you belong to Christ Jesus. You were chosen to be God’s holy people together with all people everywhere who trust in the Lord#1:2 who trust in the Lord Literally, “who call on the name of the Lord,” meaning to show faith in him by worshiping or praying to him for help. 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 that he has given you through Christ Jesus. 5In him you have been blessed in every way. You have been blessed in all your speaking and all your knowledge. 6This proves that what we told you about Christ is true. 7Now you have every gift from God while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again. 8He will keep you strong until the end so that on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes, you will be free from all blame. 9God is faithful. He is the one who has chosen you to share life with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Stop Arguing With Each Other
10Brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, I beg all of you to agree with each other. You should not be divided into different groups. Be completely joined together again with the same kind of thinking and the same purpose.
11My brothers and sisters, some members of Chloe’s family told me that there are arguments among you. 12This is what I mean: One of you says, “I follow Paul,” and someone else says, “I follow Apollos.” Another says, “I follow Peter,”#1:12 Peter Literally, “Cephas,” the Aramaic name for Peter, one of Jesus’ twelve apostles. Both names mean “rock.” Also in 3:22; 9:6; 15:5. and someone else says, “I follow Christ.” 13Christ cannot be divided into different groups. It wasn’t Paul who died on the cross for you, was it? Were you baptized in Paul’s name? 14I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15I am thankful because now no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16(I also baptized the family of Stephanas, but I don’t remember that I myself baptized any others.) 17Christ did not give me the work of baptizing people. He gave me the work of telling the Good News. But he sent me to tell the Good News without using clever speech, which would take away the power that is in the cross#1:17 cross Paul uses the cross as a picture of the Good News, the story of Christ’s death to pay for people’s sins. The cross (Christ’s death) was God’s way to save people. of Christ.
God’s Power and Wisdom in Christ Jesus
18The teaching about the cross seems foolish to those who are lost. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19As the Scriptures say,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise.
I will confuse the understanding of the intelligent.” Isaiah 29:14
20So what does this say about the philosopher, the law expert, or anyone in this world who is skilled in making clever arguments? God has made the wisdom of the world look foolish. 21This is what God in his wisdom decided: Since the world did not find him through its own wisdom, he used the message that sounds foolish to save those who believe it.
22The Jews ask for miraculous signs, and the Greeks want wisdom. 23But this is the message we tell everyone: Christ was killed on a cross. This message is a problem for Jews, and to other people it is nonsense. 24But Christ is God’s power and wisdom to the people God has chosen, both Jews and Greeks. 25Even the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom. Even the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26Brothers and sisters, God chose you to be his. Think about that! Not many of you were wise in the way the world judges wisdom. Not many of you had great influence, and not many of you came from important families. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. He chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28And God chose what the world thinks is not important—what the world hates and thinks is nothing. He chose these to destroy what the world thinks is important. 29God did this so that no one can stand before him and boast about anything. 30It is God who has made you part of Christ Jesus. And Christ has become for us wisdom from God. He is the reason we are right with God and pure enough to be in his presence. Christ is the one who set us free from sin. 31So, as the Scriptures say, “Whoever boasts should boast only about the Lord.”#Quote from Jer. 9:24.