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1Paul, a called apostle of Jesus Christ, by God's will, and Sosthenes the brother, 2to the assembly of God which is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints, with all that in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both theirs and ours: 3Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4I thank my God always about you, in respect of the grace of God given to you in Christ Jesus; 5that in everything ye have been enriched in him, in all word of doctrine, and all knowledge, 6(according as the testimony of the Christ has been confirmed in you,) 7so that ye come short in no gift, awaiting the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ; 8who shall also confirm you to the end, unimpeachable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful, by whom ye have been called into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all say the same thing, and that there be not among you divisions; but that ye be perfectly united in the same mind and in the same opinion. 11For it has been shewn to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of the house of Chloe, that there are strifes among you. 12But I speak of this, that each of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. 13Is the Christ divided? has Paul been crucified for you? or have ye been baptised unto the name of Paul?
14I thank God that I have baptised none of you, unless Crispus and Gaius, 15that no one may say that I have baptised unto my own name. 16Yes, I baptised also the house of Stephanas; for the rest I know not if I have baptised any other.
17For Christ has not sent me to baptise, but to preach glad tidings; not in wisdom of word, that the cross of the Christ may not be made vain. 18For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but to us that are saved it is God's power. 19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and set aside the understanding of the understanding ones. 20Where is the wise? where scribe? where disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom has not known God, God has been pleased by the foolishness of the preaching to save those that believe. 22Since Jews indeed ask for signs, and Greeks seek wisdom; 23but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews an offence, and to nations foolishness; 24but to those that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ God's power and God's wisdom. 25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For consider your calling, brethren, that there are not many wise according to flesh, not many powerful, not many high-born. 27But God has chosen the foolish things of the world, that he may put to shame the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world, that he may put to shame the strong things; 28and the ignoble things of the world, and the despised, has God chosen, and things that are not, that he may annul the things that are; 29so that no flesh should boast before God. 30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who has been made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and holiness, and redemption; 31that according as it is written, He that boasts, let him boast in the Lord.
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1I, Paul, am writing this letter. I have been chosen to be an apostle of Christ Jesus just as God planned. Our brother Sosthenes joins me in writing.
2We are sending this letter to you, the members of God's church in Corinth. You have been made holy because you belong to Christ Jesus. God has chosen you to be his holy people. He has done the same for all those everywhere who pray to our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is their Lord and ours.
3May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Paul Gives Thanks
4I always thank God for you. I thank him because of the grace he has given to you who belong to Christ Jesus. 5You have been blessed in every way because of him. All your teaching of the truth is better. Your understanding of it is more complete. 6Our witness about Christ has been proved to be true in you.
7There is no gift of the Holy Spirit that you don't have. You are full of hope as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again. 8God will keep you strong to the very end. Then you will be without blame on the day our Lord Jesus Christ returns.
9God is faithful. He has chosen you to share life with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Taking Sides in the Church
10Brothers and sisters, I ask all of you to agree with one another. I make my appeal in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then you won't take sides. You will be in complete agreement in all that you think.
11My brothers and sisters, some people who live in Chloe's house have told me you are arguing with each other. 12Here is what I mean. One of you says, "I follow Paul." Another says, "I follow Apollos." Another says, "I follow Peter." And still another says, "I follow Christ."
13Does Christ take sides? Did Paul die on the cross for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14I'm thankful that I didn't baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15No one can say that you were baptized in my name.
16It's true that I also baptized those who live in the house of Stephanas. Besides that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.
17Christ did not send me to baptize. He sent me to preach the good news. He commanded me not to use the kind of wisdom that people commonly use. That would take all the power away from the cross of Christ.
Christ Is God's Power and Wisdom
18The message of the cross seems foolish to those who are lost and dying. But it is God's power to us who are being saved. 19It is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of those who are wise.
I will do away with the cleverness of those who think they are so smart." (Isaiah 29:14)
20Where is the wise person? Where is the educated person? Where are the great thinkers of this world? Hasn't God made the wisdom of the world foolish? 21God wisely planned that the world would not know him through its own wisdom. It pleased God to use the foolish things we preach to save those who believe.
22Jews require miraculous signs. Greeks look for wisdom. 23But we preach about Christ and his death on the cross. That is very hard for Jews to accept. And everyone else thinks it's foolish.
24But there are those God has chosen, both Jews and others. To them Christ is God's power and God's wisdom. 25The foolish things of God are wiser than human wisdom. The weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when God chose you. Not many of you were considered wise by human standards. Not many of you were powerful. Not many of you belonged to 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. 28God chose the things of this world that are common and looked down on. He chose what is not considered to be important to do away with what is considered to be important. 29So no one can brag to God.
30Because of what God has done, you belong to Christ Jesus. He has become God's wisdom for us. He makes us right with God. He makes us holy and sets us free. 31It is written, "The one who brags should brag about what the Lord has done." (Jeremiah 9:24)