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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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1Paul, called to be an emissary of Yeshua the Messiah through the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 2to the assembly of God which is at Corinth—those who are sanctified in Messiah Yeshua, called holy ones, with all who call on the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah in every place, both theirs and ours: 3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
4I always thank my God concerning you, for the grace of God which was given you in Messiah Yeshua; 5that in everything you were enriched in him, in all speech and all knowledge; 6even as the testimony of Messiah was confirmed in you: 7so that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the revelation of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah; 8who will also confirm you until the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 9God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord.
10Now I beg you, brothers,#1:10 The word for “brothers” here and where context allows may also be correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.” through the name of our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions amongst you, but that you be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgement. 11For it has been reported to me concerning you, my brothers, by those who are from Chloe’s household, that there are contentions amongst you. 12Now I mean this, that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” “I follow Apollos,” “I follow Kefa,” and, “I follow Messiah.” 13Is Messiah divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you immersed into the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I immersed none of you, except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one should say that I had immersed you into my own name. 16(I also immersed the household of Stephanas; besides them, I don’t know whether I immersed any other.) 17For Messiah sent me not to immerse, but to proclaim the Good News—not in wisdom of words, so that the cross of Messiah wouldn’t be made void. 18For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise.
I will bring the discernment of the discerning to nothing.”#Isaiah 29:14
20Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the Torah scholar of this world? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21For seeing that in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom didn’t know God, it was God’s good pleasure through the foolishness of the proclaiming to save those who believe. 22For Jews ask for signs, Greeks seek after wisdom, 23but we proclaim Messiah crucified: a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Messiah is the power of God and the wisdom of God; 25because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26For you see your calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, and not many noble; 27but God chose the foolish things of the world that he might put to shame those who are wise. God chose the weak things of the world that he might put to shame the things that are strong. 28God chose the lowly things of the world, and the things that are despised, and the things that don’t exist, that he might bring to nothing the things that exist, 29that no flesh should boast before God. 30Because of him, you are in Messiah Yeshua, who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption: 31that, as it is written, “He who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.”#Jeremiah 9:24