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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.”
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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)