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1From Paul, who was called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Sosthenes —
2 # Acts 18.1 To the church of God which is in Corinth, to all who are called to be God's holy people, who belong to him in union with Christ Jesus, together with all people everywhere who worship our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
3May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Blessings in Christ
4I always give thanks to my God for you because of the grace he has given you through Christ Jesus. 5For in union with Christ you have become rich in all things, including all speech and all knowledge. 6The message about Christ has become so firmly established in you 7that you have not failed to receive a single blessing, as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be faultless on the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is to be trusted, the God who called you to have fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Divisions in the Church
10By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ I appeal to all of you, my brothers and sisters, to agree in what you say, so that there will be no divisions among you. Be completely united, with only one thought and one purpose. 11For some people from Chloe's family have told me quite plainly, my friends, that there are quarrels among you. 12#Acts 18.24Let me put it this way: each one of you says something different. One says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Peter”; and another, “I follow Christ”. 13Christ has been divided#1.13 Christ has been divided; some manuscripts have Christ cannot be divided. into groups! Was it Paul who died on the cross for you? Were you baptized as Paul's disciples?
14 # Acts 18.8; 19.29; Rom 16.23 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15No one can say, then, that you were baptized as my disciples. 16#1 Cor 16.15(Oh yes, I also baptized Stephanas and his family; but I can't remember whether I baptized anyone else.) 17Christ did not send me to baptize. He sent me to tell the Good News, and to tell it without using the language of human wisdom, in order to make sure that Christ's death on the cross is not robbed of its power.
Christ the Power and the Wisdom of God
18For the message about Christ's death on the cross is nonsense to those who are being lost; but for us who are being saved it is God's power. 19#Is 29.14 (LXX)The scripture says:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
and set aside the understanding of the scholars.”
20 # Job 12.17; Is 19.12; 33.18; 44.25 So then, where does that leave the wise? or the scholars? or the skilful debaters of this world? God has shown that this world's wisdom is foolishness!
21For God in his wisdom made it impossible for people to know him by means of their own wisdom. Instead, by means of the so-called “foolish” message we preach, God decided to save those who believe. 22Jews want miracles for proof, and Greeks look for wisdom. 23As for us, we proclaim the crucified Christ, a message that is offensive to the Jews and nonsense to the Gentiles; 24but for those whom God has called, both Jews and Gentiles, this message is Christ, who is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For what seems to be God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and what seems to be God's weakness is stronger than human strength.
26Now remember what you were, my brothers and sisters, when God called you. From the human point of view few of you were wise or powerful or of high social standing. 27God purposely chose what the world considers nonsense in order to shame the wise, and he chose what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful. 28He chose what the world looks down on and despises, and thinks is nothing, in order to destroy what the world thinks is important. 29This means that no one can boast in God's presence. 30But God has brought you into union with Christ Jesus, and God has made Christ to be our wisdom. By him we are put right with God; we become God's holy people and are set free. 31#Jer 9.24So then, as the scripture says, “Whoever wants to boast must boast of what the Lord has done.”
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1Greetings from Paul. I was chosen to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. God chose me because that is what he wanted. Greetings also from Sosthenes, our brother in Christ.
2To God’s church in Corinth, you who have been made holy because you belong to Christ Jesus. You were chosen to be God’s holy people together with all people everywhere who trust in the Lord#1:2 who trust in the Lord Literally, “who call on the name of the Lord,” meaning to show faith in him by worshiping or praying to him for help. Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours.
3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul Gives Thanks to God
4I always thank my God for you because of the grace that he has given you through Christ Jesus. 5In him you have been blessed in every way. You have been blessed in all your speaking and all your knowledge. 6This proves that what we told you about Christ is true. 7Now you have every gift from God while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again. 8He will keep you strong until the end so that on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes, you will be free from all blame. 9God is faithful. He is the one who has chosen you to share life with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Stop Arguing With Each Other
10Brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, I beg all of you to agree with each other. You should not be divided into different groups. Be completely joined together again with the same kind of thinking and the same purpose.
11My brothers and sisters, some members of Chloe’s family told me that there are arguments among you. 12This is what I mean: One of you says, “I follow Paul,” and someone else says, “I follow Apollos.” Another says, “I follow Peter,”#1:12 Peter Literally, “Cephas,” the Aramaic name for Peter, one of Jesus’ twelve apostles. Both names mean “rock.” Also in 3:22; 9:6; 15:5. and someone else says, “I follow Christ.” 13Christ cannot be divided into different groups. It wasn’t Paul who died on the cross for you, was it? Were you baptized in Paul’s name? 14I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15I am thankful because now no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16(I also baptized the family of Stephanas, but I don’t remember that I myself baptized any others.) 17Christ did not give me the work of baptizing people. He gave me the work of telling the Good News. But he sent me to tell the Good News without using clever speech, which would take away the power that is in the cross#1:17 cross Paul uses the cross as a picture of the Good News, the story of Christ’s death to pay for people’s sins. The cross (Christ’s death) was God’s way to save people. of Christ.
God’s Power and Wisdom in Christ Jesus
18The teaching about the cross seems foolish to those who are lost. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19As the Scriptures say,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise.
I will confuse the understanding of the intelligent.” Isaiah 29:14
20So what does this say about the philosopher, the law expert, or anyone in this world who is skilled in making clever arguments? God has made the wisdom of the world look foolish. 21This is what God in his wisdom decided: Since the world did not find him through its own wisdom, he used the message that sounds foolish to save those who believe it.
22The Jews ask for miraculous signs, and the Greeks want wisdom. 23But this is the message we tell everyone: Christ was killed on a cross. This message is a problem for Jews, and to other people it is nonsense. 24But Christ is God’s power and wisdom to the people God has chosen, both Jews and Greeks. 25Even the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom. Even the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26Brothers and sisters, God chose you to be his. Think about that! Not many of you were wise in the way the world judges wisdom. Not many of you had great influence, and not many of you came from 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. 28And God chose what the world thinks is not important—what the world hates and thinks is nothing. He chose these to destroy what the world thinks is important. 29God did this so that no one can stand before him and boast about anything. 30It is God who has made you part of Christ Jesus. And Christ has become for us wisdom from God. He is the reason we are right with God and pure enough to be in his presence. Christ is the one who set us free from sin. 31So, as the Scriptures say, “Whoever boasts should boast only about the Lord.”#Quote from Jer. 9:24.