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1Paul, called to be an emissary of Yeshua the Messiah through the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 2to the assembly of God which is at Corinth—those who are sanctified in Messiah Yeshua, called holy ones, with all who call on the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah in every place, both theirs and ours: 3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
4I always thank my God concerning you, for the grace of God which was given you in Messiah Yeshua; 5that in everything you were enriched in him, in all speech and all knowledge; 6even as the testimony of Messiah was confirmed in you: 7so that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the revelation of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah; 8who will also confirm you until the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 9God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord.
10Now I beg you, brothers,#1:10 The word for “brothers” here and where context allows may also be correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.” through the name of our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11For it has been reported to me concerning you, my brothers, by those who are from Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12Now I mean this, that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” “I follow Apollos,” “I follow Kefa,” and, “I follow Messiah.” 13Is Messiah divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you immersed into the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I immersed none of you, except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one should say that I had immersed you into my own name. 16(I also immersed the household of Stephanas; besides them, I don’t know whether I immersed any other.) 17For Messiah sent me not to immerse, but to proclaim the Good News—not in wisdom of words, so that the cross of Messiah wouldn’t be made void. 18For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise.
I will bring the discernment of the discerning to nothing.”#Isaiah 29:14
20Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the Torah scholar of this world? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21For seeing that in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom didn’t know God, it was God’s good pleasure through the foolishness of the proclaiming to save those who believe. 22For Jews ask for signs, Greeks seek after wisdom, 23but we proclaim Messiah crucified: a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Messiah is the power of God and the wisdom of God; 25because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26For you see your calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, and not many noble; 27but God chose the foolish things of the world that he might put to shame those who are wise. God chose the weak things of the world that he might put to shame the things that are strong. 28God chose the lowly things of the world, and the things that are despised, and the things that don’t exist, that he might bring to nothing the things that exist, 29that no flesh should boast before God. 30Because of him, you are in Messiah Yeshua, who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption: 31that, as it is written, “He who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.”#Jeremiah 9:24
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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.