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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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1From Paul. God called me to be an apostle of Christ Jesus because that is what God wanted. Also from Sosthenes, our brother in Christ.
2To the church of God in Corinth, to you who have been made holy in Christ Jesus. You were called to be God’s holy people with all people everywhere who pray in the name of the Lord 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 God has given you in Christ Jesus. 5I thank God because in Christ you have been made rich in every way, in all your speaking and in all your knowledge. 6Just as our witness about Christ has been guaranteed to you, 7so you have every gift from God while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again. 8Jesus will keep you strong until the end so that there will be no wrong in you on the day our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 9God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
Problems in the Church
10I beg you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that all of you agree with each other and not be split into groups. I beg that you be completely joined together by having the same kind of thinking and the same purpose. 11My brothers and sisters, some people from Chloe’s family have told me quite plainly that there are quarrels among you. 12This is what I mean: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another says, “I follow Apollos”; another says, “I follow Peter”; and another says, “I follow Christ.” 13Christ has been divided up into different groups! Did Paul die on the cross for you? No! Were you baptized in the name of Paul? No! 14I thank God I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius 15so that now no one can say you were baptized in my name. 16(I also baptized the family of Stephanas, but I do not remember that I baptized anyone else.) 17Christ did not send me to baptize people but to preach the Good News. And he sent me to preach the Good News without using words of human wisdom so that the cross of Christ would not lose its power.
Christ Is God’s Power and Wisdom
18The teaching about the cross is foolishness to those who are being lost, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19It is written in the Scriptures:
“I will cause the wise to lose their wisdom;
I will make the wise unable to understand.”#Isaiah 29:14
20Where is the wise person? Where is the educated person? Where is the skilled talker of this world? God has made the wisdom of the world foolish. 21In the wisdom of God the world did not know God through its own wisdom. So God chose to use the message that sounds foolish to save those who believe. 22The Jews ask for miracles, and the Greeks want wisdom. 23But we preach a crucified Christ. This causes the Jews to stumble and is foolishness to non-Jews. 24But Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God to those people God has called—Jews and Greeks. 25Even the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26Brothers and sisters, look at what you were when God called you. Not many of you were wise in the way the world judges wisdom. Not many of you had great influence. Not many of you came from important families. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and he chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose what the world thinks is unimportant and what the world looks down on and thinks is nothing in order to destroy what the world thinks is important. 29God did this so that no one can brag in his presence. 30Because of God you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God. In Christ we are put right with God, and have been made holy, and have been set free from sin. 31So, as the Scripture says, “If people want to brag, they should brag only about the Lord.”