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1 Corinthians
Love and Truth
Paul’s Greeting
1From Paul, divinely appointed according to the plan of God, to be an apostle of the Anointed One, Jesus. Our fellow believer Sosthenes joins me 2in writing you this letter addressed to the community of God throughout the city of Corinth. For you have been made pure, set apart in the Anointed One, Jesus. And God has invited you to be his devoted and holy people, and not only you, but everyone everywhere who calls on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord, and ours also.
3May joyous grace and endless peace be yours continually from our Father God and from our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!
Made Wonderfully Rich
4I am always thanking my God for you because he has given you such free and open access to his grace through your union with Jesus, the Messiah. 5In him you have been made extravagantly rich in every way. You have been endowed with a wealth of inspired utterance and the riches that come from your intimate knowledge of him. 6For the reality of the truth of Christ is seen among you and strengthened through your experience of him. 7So now you aren’t lacking any spiritual gift as you eagerly await the unveiling of the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. 8He will keep you steady and strong to the very end, making your character mature so that you will be found innocent on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is forever faithful and can be trusted to do this in you, for he has invited you to co-share the life of his Son, Jesus, the Anointed One, our King!
Paul Addresses Divisions in the Church
10I urge you, my brothers and sisters, for the sake of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree to live in unity with one another and put to rest any division that attempts to tear you apart. Be restored as one united body living in perfect harmony. Form a consistent choreography among yourselves, having a common perspective with shared values.
11My dear brothers and sisters, I have a serious concern I need to bring up with you, for I have been informed by those of Chloe’s house church that you have been destructively arguing among yourselves. 12And I need to bring this up because each of you is claiming loyalty to different preachers. Some are saying, “I am a disciple of Paul,” or, “I follow Apollos,” or, “I am a disciple of Peter the Rock,” and some, “I belong only to Christ.” 13But let me ask you, is Christ divided up into groups? Did I die on the cross for you? At your baptism did you pledge yourselves to follow Paul?
14Thank God I only baptized two from Corinth—Crispus and Gaius! 15So now no one can say that in my name I baptized others. 16(Yes, I also baptized Stephanus and his family. Other than that, I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.) 17For the Anointed One has sent me on a mission, not to see how many I could baptize, but to proclaim the good news. And I declare this message stripped of all philosophical arguments that empty the cross of its true power. For I trust in the all-sufficient cross of Christ alone.
The True Power of the Cross
18To preach the message of the cross seems like sheer nonsense to those who are on their way to destruction, but to us who are on our way to salvation, it is the mighty power of God released within us. 19For it is written:
I will dismantle the wisdom of the wise
and I will invalidate the intelligence of the scholars.
20So where is the wise philosopher who understands? Where is the expert scholar who comprehends? And where is the skilled debater of our time who could win a debate with God? Hasn’t God demonstrated that the wisdom of this world system is utter foolishness?
21For in his wisdom, God designed that all the world’s wisdom would be insufficient to lead people to the discovery of himself. He took great delight in baffling the wisdom of the world by using the simplicity of preaching the story of the cross in order to save those who believe it. 22For the Jews constantly demand to see miraculous signs, while those who are not Jews constantly cling to the world’s wisdom, 23but we preach the crucified Messiah. The Jews stumble over him and the rest of the world sees him as foolishness. 24But for those who have been chosen to follow him, both Jews and Greeks, he is God’s mighty power, God’s true wisdom, and our Messiah. 25For the “foolish” things of God have proven to be wiser than human wisdom. And the “feeble” things of God have proven to be far more powerful than any human ability.
God’s Calling
26Brothers and sisters, consider who you were when God called you to salvation. Not many of you were wise scholars by human standards, nor were many of you in positions of power. Not many of you were considered the elite when you answered God’s call. 27But God chose those whom the world considers foolish to shame those who think they are wise, and God chose the puny and powerless to shame the high and mighty. 28He chose the lowly, the laughable in the world’s eyes—nobodies—so that he would shame the somebodies. For he chose what is regarded as insignificant in order to supersede what is regarded as prominent, 29so that there would be no place for prideful boasting in God’s presence. 30For it is not from man that we draw our life but from God as we are being joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. And now he is our God-given wisdom, our virtue, our holiness, and our redemption. 31And this fulfills what is written:
If anyone boasts, let him only boast
in all that the Lord has done!
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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