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1Paul, a called apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God, and Sosthenes the brother,
2to the assembly of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints, with all those calling upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place — both theirs and ours:
3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
4I give thanks to my God always concerning you for the grace of God that was given to you in Christ Jesus,
5that in every thing ye were enriched in him, in all discourse and all knowledge,
6according as the testimony of the Christ was confirmed in you,
7so that ye are not behind in any gift, waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
8who also shall confirm you unto the end — unblamable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ;
9faithful [is] God, through whom ye were called to the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10And I call upon you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that the same thing ye may all say, and there may not be divisions among you, and ye may be perfected in the same mind, and in the same judgment,
11for it was signified to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe, that contentions are among you;
12and I say this, that each one of you saith, ‘I, indeed, am of Paul’ — ‘and I of Apollos,’ — ‘and I of Cephas,’ — ‘and I of Christ.’
13Hath the Christ been divided? was Paul crucified for you? or to the name of Paul were ye baptized;
14I give thanks to God that no one of you did I baptize, except Crispus and Gaius —
15that no one may say that to my own name I did baptize;
16and I did baptize also Stephanas' household — further, I have not known if I did baptize any other.
17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but — to proclaim good news; not in wisdom of discourse, that the cross of the Christ may not be made of none effect;
18for the word of the cross to those indeed perishing is foolishness, and to us — those being saved — it is the power of God,
19for it hath been written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the intelligence of the intelligent I will bring to nought;’
20where [is] the wise? where the scribe? where a disputer of this age? did not God make foolish the wisdom of this world?
21for, seeing in the wisdom of God the world through the wisdom knew not God, it did please God through the foolishness of the preaching to save those believing.
22Since also Jews ask a sign, and Greeks seek wisdom,
23also we — we preach Christ crucified, to Jews, indeed, a stumbling-block, and to Greeks foolishness,
24and to those called — both Jews and Greeks — Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God,
25because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men;
26for see your calling, brethren, that not many [are] wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
27but the foolish things of the world did God choose, that the wise He may put to shame; and the weak things of the world did God choose that He may put to shame the strong;
28and the base things of the world, and the things despised did God choose, and the things that are not, that the things that are He may make useless —
29that no flesh may glory before Him;
30and of Him ye — ye are in Christ Jesus, who became to us from God wisdom, righteousness also, and sanctification, and redemption,
31that, according as it hath been written, ‘He who is glorying — in the Lord let him glory.’
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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)