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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.”
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Greeting
1From Paul, called by God’s will to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, and from Sosthenes our brother.
2To God’s church that is in Corinth:
To those who have been made holy to God in Christ Jesus, who are called to be God’s people.
Together with all those who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place—he’s their Lord and ours!
3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving for the Corinthians
4I thank my God always for you, because of God’s grace that was given to you in Christ Jesus. 5That is, you were made rich through him in everything: in all your communication and every kind of knowledge, 6in the same way that the testimony about Christ was confirmed with you. 7The result is that you aren’t missing any spiritual gift while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8He will also confirm your testimony about Christ until the end so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful, and you were called by him to partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rival groups in Corinth
10Now I encourage you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Agree with each other and don’t be divided into rival groups. Instead, be restored with the same mind and the same purpose. 11My brothers and sisters, Chloe’s people gave me some information about you, that you’re fighting with each other. 12What I mean is this: that each one of you says, "I belong to Paul," "I belong to Apollos," "I belong to Cephas," "I belong to Christ." 13Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you, or were you baptized in Paul’s name? 14Thank God that I didn’t baptize any of you, except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that nobody can say that you were baptized in my name! 16Oh, I baptized the house of Stephanas too. Otherwise, I don’t know if I baptized anyone else. 17Christ didn’t send me to baptize but to preach the good news. And Christ didn’t send me to preach the good news with clever words so that Christ’s cross won’t be emptied of its meaning.
Human wisdom versus the cross
18The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are being destroyed. But it is the power of God for those of us who are being saved. 19It is written in scripture: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will reject the intelligence of the intelligent.#Isa 29:14 20Where are the wise? Where are the legal experts? Where are today’s debaters? Hasn’t God made the wisdom of the world foolish? 21In God’s wisdom, he determined that the world wouldn’t come to know him through its wisdom. Instead, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of preaching. 22Jews ask for signs, and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, which is a scandal to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. 24But to those who are called—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom. 25This is because the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26Look at your situation when you were called, brothers and sisters! By ordinary human standards not many were wise, not many were powerful, not many were from the upper class. 27But God chose what the world considers foolish to shame the wise. God chose what the world considers weak to shame the strong. 28And God chose what the world considers low-class and low-life—what is considered to be nothing—to reduce what is considered to be something to nothing. 29So no human being can brag in God’s presence. 30It is because of God that you are in Christ Jesus. He became wisdom from God for us. This means that he made us righteous and holy, and he delivered us. 31This is consistent with what was written: The one who brags should brag in the Lord!#Jer 9:24