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Greeting
1 From Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and from Sosthenes, our brother in the Christian faith.
2 To God’s church that was made holy by Christ Jesus and called to be God’s holy people in the city of Corinth and to people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Good will #Or “Grace.” and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are yours!
4 I always thank God for you because Christ Jesus has shown you God’s good will. 5 Through Christ Jesus you have become rich in every way—in speech and knowledge of every kind. 6 Our message about Christ has been verified among you. 7 Therefore, you don’t lack any gift as you wait eagerly for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will continue to give you strength until the end so that no one can accuse you of anything on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God faithfully keeps his promises. He called you to be partners with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
God’s Wisdom Is Better Than the World’s Wisdom
10 Brothers and sisters, I encourage all of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to agree with each other and not to split into opposing groups. I want you to be united in your understanding and opinions. 11 Brothers and sisters, some people from Chloe’s family have made it clear to me that you are quarreling among yourselves. 12 This is what I mean: Each of you is saying, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” #Cephas is the Aramaic name for the Apostle Peter. or “I follow Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in Paul’s name? 14 I thank God that #A few of the older manuscripts read “I am thankful that.” I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius 15 so that no one can say you were baptized in my name. 16 I also baptized Stephanas and his family. Beyond that, I’m not sure whether I baptized anyone else. 17 Christ didn’t send me to baptize. Instead, he sent me to spread the Good News. I didn’t use intellectual arguments. That would have made the cross of Christ lose its meaning.
18 The message about the cross is nonsense to those who are being destroyed, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved. 19 Scripture says,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise.
I will reject the intelligence of intelligent people.”
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the scholar? Where is the persuasive speaker of our time? Hasn’t God turned the wisdom of the world into nonsense? 21 The world with its wisdom was unable to recognize God in terms of his own wisdom. So God decided to use the nonsense of the Good News we speak to save those who believe. 22 Jews ask for miraculous signs, and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but our message is that Christ was crucified. This offends Jewish people and makes no sense to people who are not Jewish. 24 But to those Jews and Greeks who are called, he is Christ, God’s power and God’s wisdom. 25 God’s nonsense is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, consider what you were when God called you to be Christians. Not many of you were wise from a human point of view. You were not in powerful positions or in the upper social classes. 27 But God chose what the world considers nonsense to put wise people to shame. God chose what the world considers weak to put what is strong to shame. 28 God chose what the world considers ordinary and what it despises—what it considers to be nothing—in order to destroy what it considers to be something. 29 As a result, no one can brag in God’s presence. 30 You are partners with Christ Jesus because of God. Jesus has become our wisdom sent from God, our approval, our holiness, and our ransom from sin. 31 As Scripture says, “Whoever brags must brag about what the Lord has done.”
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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)