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1 PAUL, SUMMONED by the will and purpose of God to be an apostle (special messenger) of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,
2 To the church (assembly) of God which is in Corinth, to those consecrated and purified and made holy in Christ Jesus, [who are] selected and called to be saints (God's people), together with all those who in any place call upon and give honor to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
3 Grace (favor and spiritual blessing) be to you and [heart] peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God at all times for you because of the grace (the favor and spiritual blessing) of God which was bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
5 [So] that in Him in every respect you were enriched, in full power and readiness of speech [to speak of your faith] and complete knowledge and illumination [to give you full insight into its meaning].
6 In this way [our] witnessing concerning Christ (the Messiah) was so confirmed and established and made sure in you
7 That you are not [consciously] falling behind or lacking in any special spiritual endowment or Christian grace [the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating in your souls by the Holy Spirit], while you wait and watch [constantly living in hope] for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and [His] being made visible to all.
8 And He will establish you to the end [keep you steadfast, give you strength, and guarantee your vindication; He will be your warrant against all accusation or indictment so that you will be] guiltless and irreproachable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
9 God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 But I urge and entreat you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what you say, and that there be no dissensions or factions or divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your common understanding and in your opinions and judgments.
11 For it has been made clear to me, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions and wrangling and factions among you.
12 What I mean is this, that each one of you [either] says, I belong to Paul, or I belong to Apollos, or I belong to Cephas (Peter), or I belong to Christ.
13 Is Christ (the Messiah) divided into parts? Was Paul crucified on behalf of you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?
14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius,
15 Lest anyone should say that I baptized in my own name.
16 [Yes] I did baptize the household of Stephanas also. More than these, I do not remember that I baptized anyone.
17 For Christ (the Messiah) sent me out not to baptize but [to evangelize by] preaching the glad tidings (the Gospel), and that not with verbal eloquence, lest the cross of Christ should be deprived of force and emptied of its power and rendered vain (fruitless, void of value, and of no effect).
18 For the story and message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition, but to us who are being saved it is the [manifestation of] the power of God.
19 For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing. [Isa. 29:14.]
20 Where is the wise man (the philosopher)? Where is the scribe (the scholar)? Where is the investigator (the logician, the debater) of this present time and age? Has not God shown up the nonsense and the folly of this world's wisdom?
21 For when the world with all its earthly wisdom failed to perceive and recognize and know God by means of its own philosophy, God in His wisdom was pleased through the foolishness of preaching [salvation, procured by Christ and to be had through Him], to save those who believed (who clung to and trusted in and relied on Him).
22 For while Jews [demandingly] ask for signs and miracles and Greeks pursue philosophy and wisdom,
23 We preach Christ (the Messiah) crucified, [preaching which] to the Jews is a scandal and an offensive stumbling block [that springs a snare or trap], and to the Gentiles it is absurd and utterly unphilosophical nonsense.
24 But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ [is] the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.
25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men.
26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth.
27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame.
28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,
29 So that no mortal man should [have pretense for glorying and] boast in the presence of God.
30 But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, [revealed to us a knowledge of the divine plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as] our Righteousness [thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with God], and our Consecration [making us pure and holy], and our Redemption [providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin].
31 So then, as it is written, Let him who boasts and proudly rejoices and glories, boast and proudly rejoice and glory in the Lord. [Jer. 9:24.]
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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.