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1From: Sha’ul, called by God’s will to be an emissary of the Messiah Yeshua; and from brother Sosthenes
2To: God’s Messianic community in Corinth, consisting of those who have been set apart by Yeshua the Messiah and called to be God’s holy people — along with everyone everywhere who calls on the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, their Lord as well as ours:
3Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
4I thank my God always for you because of God’s love and kindness given to you through the Messiah Yeshua, 5in that you have been enriched by him in so many ways, particularly in power of speech and depth of knowledge. 6Indeed, the testimony about the Messiah has become firmly established in you; 7so that you are not lacking any spiritual gift and are eagerly awaiting the revealing of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 8He will enable you to hold out until the end and thus be blameless on the Day of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah — 9God is trustworthy: it was he who called you into fellowship with his Son, Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord.
10Nevertheless, brothers, I call on you in the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah to agree, all of you, in what you say, and not to let yourselves remain split into factions but be restored to having a common mind and a common purpose. 11For some of Chloe’s people have made it known to me, my brothers, that there are quarrels among you. 12I say this because one of you says, “I follow Sha’ul”; another says, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Kefa”; while still another says, “I follow the Messiah!” 13Has the Messiah been split in pieces? Was it Sha’ul who was put to death on a stake for you? Were you immersed into the name of Sha’ul? 14I thank God that I didn’t immerse any of you except Crispus and Gaius — 15otherwise someone might say that you were indeed immersed into my name. 16(Oh yes, I did also immerse Stephanas and his household; beyond that, I can’t remember whether I immersed anyone else.)
17For the Messiah did not send me to immerse but to proclaim the Good News — and to do it without relying on “wisdom” that consists of mere rhetoric, so as not to rob the Messiah’s execution-stake of its power. 18For the message about the execution-stake is nonsense to those in the process of being destroyed, but to us in the process of being saved it is the power of God. 19Indeed, the Tanakh says,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
and frustrate the intelligence of the intelligent.”
20Where does that leave the philosopher, the Torah-teacher, or any of today’s thinkers? Hasn’t God made this world’s wisdom look pretty foolish? 21For God’s wisdom ordained that the world, using its own wisdom, would not come to know him. Therefore God decided to use the “nonsense” of what we proclaim as his means of saving those who come to trust in it. 22Precisely because Jews ask for signs and Greeks try to find wisdom, 23we go on proclaiming a Messiah executed on a stake as a criminal! To Jews this is an obstacle, and to Greeks it is nonsense; 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, this same Messiah is God’s power and God’s wisdom! 25For God’s “nonsense” is wiser than humanity’s “wisdom.”
And God’s “weakness” is stronger than humanity’s “strength.” 26Just look at yourselves, brothers — look at those whom God has called! Not many of you are wise by the world’s standards, not many wield power or boast noble birth. 27But God chose what the world considers nonsense in order to shame the wise; God chose what the world considers weak in order to shame the strong; 28and God chose what the world looks down on as common or regards as nothing in order to bring to nothing what the world considers important; 29so that no one should boast before God. 30It is his doing that you are united with the Messiah Yeshua. He has become wisdom for us from God, and righteousness and holiness and redemption as well! 31Therefore — as the Tanakh says — “Let anyone who wants to boast, boast about Adonai.”
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Appeal to Unity
1 Paul, called as an apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and our brother #This man may have served as secretary to Paul to record his dictation, and may be the synagogue leader mentioned in Acts 18:17.Sosthenes,
2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified (set apart, made holy) in Christ Jesus, who are selected and called as saints (God’s people), together with all those who in every place call on and honor the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
3 Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always for you because of the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,5 so that in everything you were [exceedingly] enriched in Him, in all speech [empowered by the spiritual gifts] and in all knowledge [with insight into the faith].6 In this way our testimony about Christ was confirmed and established in you,7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift [which comes from the Holy Spirit], as you eagerly wait [with confident trust] for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ [when He returns].8 And He will also confirm you to the end [keeping you strong and free of any accusation, so that you will be] blameless and beyond reproach in the day [of the return] of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 God is faithful [He is reliable, trustworthy and ever true to His promise--He can be depended on], and through Him you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 But I urge you, believers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in full agreement in what you say, and that there be no divisions or factions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your way of thinking and in your judgment [about matters of the faith].11 For I have been informed about you, my brothers and sisters, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are quarrels and factions among you.12 Now I mean this, that each one of you says, “I am [a disciple] of Paul,” or “I am [a disciple] of Apollos,” or “I am [a disciple] of Cephas (Peter),” or “I am [a disciple] of Christ.”13 Has Christ been divided [into different parts]? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul? [Certainly not!]14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one would say that you were baptized into my name.16 Now I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know if I baptized anyone else.17 For Christ did not send me [as an apostle] to baptize, but [commissioned and empowered me] to preach the good news [of salvation]--not with clever and eloquent speech [as an orator], so that the cross of Christ would not be #Paul may be referring to the danger that convincing people to become Christians by the use of clever rhetoric would result in false conversions (cf 2:5).made ineffective [deprived of its saving power].
The Wisdom of God
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness [absurd and illogical] to those who are perishing and spiritually dead [because they reject it], but to us who are being saved [by God’s grace] it is [the manifestation of] the power of God.19 For it is written and forever remains written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise [the philosophy of the philosophers],
And the cleverness of the clever [who do not know Me] I will nullify.”
20 Where is the wise man (philosopher)? Where is the scribe (scholar)? Where is the debater (logician, orator) of this age? Has God not exposed the foolishness of this world’s wisdom?21 For since the world through all its [earthly] wisdom failed to recognize God, God in His wisdom was well-pleased through the #The straightforward message of salvation seemed foolish to unbelievers.foolishness of the message preached [regarding salvation] to save those who believe [in Christ and welcome Him as Savior].22 For Jews demand signs (attesting miracles), and Greeks pursue [worldly] wisdom and philosophy,23 but we preach Christ crucified, [a message which is] to Jews a stumbling block [that provokes their opposition], and to Gentiles foolishness [just utter nonsense],24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles), Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 [This is] because the foolishness of God [is not foolishness at all and] is wiser than men [far beyond human comprehension], and the weakness of God is stronger than men [far beyond the limits of human effort].
26 Just look at your own calling, believers; not many [of you were considered] wise according to human standards, not many powerful or influential, not many of high and noble birth.27 But God has selected [for His purpose] the foolish things of the world to shame the wise [revealing their ignorance], and God has selected [for His purpose] the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong [revealing their frailty].28 God has selected [for His purpose] the insignificant (base) things of the world, and the things that are despised and treated with contempt, [even] the things that are nothing, so that He might reduce to nothing the things that are,29 so that no one may [be able to] boast in the presence of God.30 But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God [revealing His plan of salvation], and righteousness [making us acceptable to God], and sanctification [making us holy and setting us apart for God], and redemption [providing our ransom from the penalty for sin],31 so then, as it is written [in Scripture], “He who boasts and glories, let him boast and glory in the Lord.”