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Greeting
1Paul,#Ac 13:9 called as an apostle#Rm 1:1 of Christ Jesus by God’s will,#2Co 1:1; Eph 1:1; Col 1:1; 2Tm 1:1 and Sosthenes our brother:#Ac 18:17
2To the church of God at Corinth,#Ac 18:1; 19:1; 2Co 1:1,23; 2Tm 4:20 to those sanctified#Ac 20:32; 26:18; 1Co 6:11; Heb 10:10 in Christ Jesus, called#Rm 1:6-7 as saints, with all those in every place who call on the name#Gn 4:26; Ps 79:6; Jn 10:25; Ac 9:14; 15:14; Rv 14:1 of Jesus Christ our Lord — both their Lord and ours.
3Grace to you and peace from God our Father#Rm 1:7; 2Co 1:2; Gl 1:3; Eph 1:2; Php 1:2; 2Th 1:2; Ti 1:4 and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving
4I always thank#Rm 1:8; Php 1:3; Col 1:3; 1Th 1:2; 2Th 1:3; 2Tm 1:3; Phm 4 my God for you because of the grace of God given to you in Christ Jesus, 5that you were enriched in him#2Co 8:9; 9:11 in every way, in all speech and all knowledge.#Rm 15:14; 1Co 12:8; 2Co 8:7; 1Jn 2:20 6In this way, the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you,#2Th 1:10; 1Tm 2:6; 2Tm 1:8; Rv 1:2 7so that you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait#Lk 17:30; Rm 8:19; Php 3:20; Heb 9:28; 2Pt 3:12 for the revelation#1Pt 4:13 of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will also strengthen you to the end,#Php 1:6; 1Th 3:13 so that you will be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.#Lk 17:24; 1Co 5:5; 2Co 1:14; Php 2:16; Col 1:22 9God is faithful;#Dt 7:9; Is 49:7; 1Co 10:13; 2Co 1:18 you were called by him#Rm 8:28 into fellowship with his Son,#Jn 5:19; Heb 1:2; 1Jn 1:3 Jesus Christ our Lord.
Divisions at Corinth
10Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction. 11For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers and sisters, by members of Chloe’s people, that there is rivalry#Ti 3:9 among you. 12What I am saying is this: One of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,”#Ti 3:13 or “I belong to Cephas,”#Jn 1:42 or “I belong to Christ.”#Mt 23:9-10 13Is Christ divided?#1Co 12:5; 2Co 11:4; Eph 4:5 Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in Paul’s name? 14I thank God#1:14 Other mss omit God#1:14 Or I am thankful that I baptized none of you except Crispus#Ac 18:8 and Gaius,#Rm 16:23 15so that no one can say you were baptized in my name. 16I did, in fact, baptize the household#Rm 16:5 of Stephanas;#1Co 16:15,17 beyond that, I don’t recall if I baptized anyone else. 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel — not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross#Lk 23:26; Php 3:18 of Christ will not be emptied of its effect.
Christ the Power and Wisdom of God
18For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is the power of God to us who are being saved.#Ac 19:11; Rm 1:16; 2Co 13:4 19For it is written,
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and I will set aside the intelligence of the intelligent. # Is 29:14 # Is 29:14
20Where is the one who is wise? Where is the teacher of the law?#1:20 Or scholar Where is the debater of this age?#Lk 16:8 Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish? 21For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of what is preached. 22For the Jews ask for signs#Mt 12:38 and the Greeks seek wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified,#Lk 23:26; 1Co 2:2; Gl 3:1; 5:11 a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles.#1:23 Other mss read Greeks 24Yet to those who are called,#Rm 1:6 both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, 25because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
Boasting Only in the Lord
26Brothers and sisters, consider your calling: Not many were wise from a human perspective,#1:26 Lit wise according to the flesh not many powerful,#Ac 25:5 not many of noble birth. 27Instead, God has chosen#Mt 24:22; Eph 1:4 what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. 28God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world#Lk 18:9  — what is viewed as nothing — to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, 29so that no one#1:29 Lit that not all flesh may boast in his presence.#Ac 7:46 30It is from him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom from God for us — our righteousness,#Mt 6:33; Rm 1:17; 2Pt 1:1 sanctification,#1Th 4:3 and redemption,#Eph 1:7 31in order that, as it is written:#Mk 1:2 Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.#1:31Jr 9:24#Jr 9:23-24
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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)