1 Corinthians 1
Paul says ‘Hello’
1This letter is from me, Paul. God chose me to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. That is what he wanted. Our Christian friend Sosthenes is with me here as I write to you.
2I am sending this letter to you, the people of God's church in Corinth. God has made you clean because you belong to Christ Jesus. He has chosen you to be his special people. So you join together with all people everywhere who worship our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is their Lord, as he is our Lord.
3I pray that God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, will continue to help you. I pray that they will give you peace in your minds.
Paul thanks God
4I always thank God because of you. I thank him because he has been very kind to you. He has helped you like that because you belong to Christ Jesus. 5As a result, God has given you all the things that you need. You are able to speak everything that he wants you to speak. You are able to understand everything that he wants you to know. 6In that way, God has shown you that the message we told you about Christ is true. 7As a result, God has given you every spiritual gift that you need. God has blessed you with those gifts as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to return. 8God will also keep you safe and strong until the end. Then, on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns, you will not be guilty of anything wrong. 9God always does what he has promised to do. He has chosen you to be friends with his Son, Jesus Christ, who is our Lord.
Christians must not quarrel
10My Christian friends, I tell you this with the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Please agree with each other. Do not become separate groups. Be united and think about things in the same way.’
11Some people from Chloe's house have told me news about you. My friends, they say that you are quarrelling among yourselves. 12It happens like this: One of you says, ‘I belong to Paul's group.’ Another person says, ‘I belong to Apollos's group.’ Another person says, ‘I belong to Peter's group.’ And another person says, ‘I belong to Christ's group.’
13You should not speak like that! It seems that you are breaking Christ into several parts. I, Paul, did not die on a cross to save you. When they baptized you, it was not on my behalf. 14I thank God that I myself did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15So none of you can say, ‘I belong to Paul's group because he baptized me.’ 16(Now I remember that I also baptized Stephanas and his family. I cannot remember that I baptized anyone else.) 17Christ did not send me to baptize people. But he did send me to tell God's good news to people. When I speak his message, I do not use clever words. It is Christ's death on the cross that has power to save people. I do not want to spoil that power with clever words.
Christ's death on the cross
18Some people think that the message about Christ's death on the cross is silly. Those people are destroying themselves. But it is different for us, the people that God is saving. The message about the cross shows us God's power to save us.
19It says in the Bible:
‘I, God, will destroy all the clever thoughts of wise people.
I will show that their clever ideas are useless.’ #1:19 See Isaiah 29:14.
20So the wise people in this world are not really important. The clever teachers of God's Law are not really important. People who know how to argue well are not really important. God has shown that the wise ideas that belong to this world have no value.
21God himself is wise. He has decided that people cannot know him just because they are wise in their own way. Instead, God uses the message about Jesus to save people. That message may seem to be silly to some people. But when we tell it to people, God saves them if they believe it.
22 Jewish people want to see God do a miracle. Then they will listen. Gentile people want to listen to a message that has clever ideas. 23But as for us, we tell people about how Christ died on a cross. That is a message that Jewish people refuse to accept as true. Gentile people think that it is a silly message. 24But it is different for us whom God has called to come to him. Some of us are Jews, and some of us are Gentiles. For us, Christ shows God's great power. He shows how wise God is. 25Christ's death on a cross may seem a silly thing for God to do. But really it shows that God is very wise. He is wiser than people with their clever ideas. Christ's death on a cross may seem to show that God is weak. But really he is stronger than any human power.
26Christian friends, remember the time when God called you to come to him. Think about what you were like. Not many of you were clever or powerful in the way that people think is good. Not many of you belonged to important families. 27Instead, God chose to use things that people think are silly. He did this so that clever people would be ashamed. Yes, God chose to use things that people think are weak. He did this so that powerful people would be ashamed. 28God chose to use things that people think are useless. People who belong to this world do not like those things. They think that they have no value. God did this so that the things that seem important would become unimportant.
29Because of all this, nobody can be proud of themselves in front of God. 30It is because of God's work that you now belong to Christ Jesus. As a result of Christ's death on the cross, we share in God's wise plan. Because we belong to Christ, God makes us right with himself. He makes us his own special people. He makes us free from the power of sin.
31Remember what is written in the Bible:
‘If you want to be proud about something,
be proud of what the Lord has done.’ #1:31 See Jeremiah 9:24.
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1 Corinthians 1
Greetings from Paul and Sosthenes
(Acts 18:1–11; 2 Corinthians 1:1–2)
1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
2To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Philippians 1:3–11; Colossians 1:3–14)
4I always thank my God for you because of the grace He has given you in Christ Jesus. 5For in Him you have been enriched in every way, in all speech and all knowledge, 6because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.
7Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly await the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will sustain you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
Unity in the Church
(Psalms 133:1–3; Ephesians 4:1–16)
10I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree together, so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be united in mind and conviction. 11My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12What I mean is this: Individuals among you are saying, “I follow Paul,” “I follow Apollos,” “I follow Cephas,”#1:12 That is, Peter or “I follow Christ.”
13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that I do not remember if I baptized anyone else. 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with words of wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
The Message of the Cross
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, 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;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”#1:19 Isaiah 29:14 (see also LXX)
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
22Jews demand signs and Greeks search for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,#1:23 BYZ and TR to Greeks 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom,#1:25 Literally than men; twice in this verse and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
Wisdom from God
26Brothers, consider the time of your calling: Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were powerful; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly and despised things of the world, and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast in His presence.
30It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God: our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”#1:31 Jeremiah 9:24
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