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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, a called apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God, and Sosthenes the brother,
2to the assembly of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints, with all those calling upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place — both theirs and ours:
3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
4I give thanks to my God always concerning you for the grace of God that was given to you in Christ Jesus,
5that in every thing ye were enriched in him, in all discourse and all knowledge,
6according as the testimony of the Christ was confirmed in you,
7so that ye are not behind in any gift, waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
8who also shall confirm you unto the end — unblamable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ;
9faithful [is] God, through whom ye were called to the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10And I call upon you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that the same thing ye may all say, and there may not be divisions among you, and ye may be perfected in the same mind, and in the same judgment,
11for it was signified to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe, that contentions are among you;
12and I say this, that each one of you saith, ‘I, indeed, am of Paul’ — ‘and I of Apollos,’ — ‘and I of Cephas,’ — ‘and I of Christ.’
13Hath the Christ been divided? was Paul crucified for you? or to the name of Paul were ye baptized;
14I give thanks to God that no one of you did I baptize, except Crispus and Gaius —
15that no one may say that to my own name I did baptize;
16and I did baptize also Stephanas' household — further, I have not known if I did baptize any other.
17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but — to proclaim good news; not in wisdom of discourse, that the cross of the Christ may not be made of none effect;
18for the word of the cross to those indeed perishing is foolishness, and to us — those being saved — it is the power of God,
19for it hath been written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the intelligence of the intelligent I will bring to nought;’
20where [is] the wise? where the scribe? where a disputer of this age? did not God make foolish the wisdom of this world?
21for, seeing in the wisdom of God the world through the wisdom knew not God, it did please God through the foolishness of the preaching to save those believing.
22Since also Jews ask a sign, and Greeks seek wisdom,
23also we — we preach Christ crucified, to Jews, indeed, a stumbling-block, and to Greeks foolishness,
24and to those called — both Jews and Greeks — Christ 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 see your calling, brethren, that not many [are] wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
27but the foolish things of the world did God choose, that the wise He may put to shame; and the weak things of the world did God choose that He may put to shame the strong;
28and the base things of the world, and the things despised did God choose, and the things that are not, that the things that are He may make useless —
29that no flesh may glory before Him;
30and of Him ye — ye are in Christ Jesus, who became to us from God wisdom, righteousness also, and sanctification, and redemption,
31that, according as it hath been written, ‘He who is glorying — in the Lord let him glory.’