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Greeting and Thanksgiving
1#Ro 1:1; Ac 18:17Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes, our brother,
2#Ro 1:7; Ac 18:1To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their Lord and ours:
3#Ro 1:7Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4#Ro 1:8I thank my God always on your behalf for the grace of God which has been given to you through Jesus Christ. 5#2Co 8:7; 9:11; Ro 15:14By Him you are enriched in everything, in all speech and in all knowledge, 6#Rev 1:2; 1Ti 2:6even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 7#Php 3:20; 2Pe 3:12so that you are not lacking in any gift while waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8#1Th 3:13; Php 1:6; 1:10He will strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9#1Jn 1:3; Isa 49:7; Dt 7:9God is faithful, and by Him you were called to the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Divisions in the Church
10#1Co 11:18; Php 1:27Now I ask you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak in agreement and that there be no divisions among you. But be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11#1Co 3:3For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brothers, by those who are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12#Jn 1:42; 1Co 9:5Now this is what I mean: Every one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.”
13#Mt 28:19; Ac 2:38Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14#Ac 18:8; Ro 16:23I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15lest any should say that I had baptized in my own name. 16#1Co 16:15; 16:17I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides them, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17#1Co 2:1; 2:13For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with eloquent words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
Christ the Power and Wisdom of God
18#Ro 1:16; 1Co 1:21For to those who are perishing, the preaching of the cross is foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19#Isa 29:14; Job 5:12–13For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”#Isa 29:14.
20#Ro 1:22; Job 12:17Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made the wisdom of this world foolish? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe. 22For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. 23#Gal 5:11; Lk 2:34But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks. 24#1Co 1:30; 1:18But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, we preach Christ as the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25#1Co 1:18For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26#1Co 1:20For observe your calling, brothers. Among you, not many wise men according to the flesh, not many mighty men, and not many noble men were called. 27#Ps 8:2; 1Co 1:20But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. God has chosen the weak things ofthe world to confound the things which are mighty. 28#Ro 4:17; 1Co 2:6And God has chosen the base things of the world and things which are despised. Yes, and He chose things which did not exist to bring to nothing things that do, 29#Eph 2:9so that no flesh should boast in His presence. 30#Jer 23:5–6; 1Co 1:2But because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, whom God made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. 31#2Co 10:17; Jer 9:23–24Therefore, as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”#Jer 9:24.
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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)