Greetings from Paul and Sosthenes
(Acts 18:1–11; 2 Corinthians 1:1–2)
1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
2To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Philippians 1:3–11; Colossians 1:3–14)
4I always thank my God for you because of the grace He has given you in Christ Jesus. 5For in Him you have been enriched in every way, in all speech and all knowledge, 6because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.
7Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly await the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will sustain you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
Unity in the Church
(Psalms 133:1–3; Ephesians 4:1–16)
10I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree together, so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be united in mind and conviction. 11My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12What I mean is this: Individuals among you are saying, “I follow Paul,” “I follow Apollos,” “I follow Cephas,”#1:12 That is, Peter or “I follow Christ.”
13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that I do not remember if I baptized anyone else. 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with words of wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
The Message of the Cross
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”#1:19 Isaiah 29:14 (see also LXX)
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
22Jews demand signs and Greeks search for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,#1:23 BYZ and TR to Greeks 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom,#1:25 Literally than men; twice in this verse and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
Wisdom from God
26Brothers, consider the time of your calling: Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were powerful; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly and despised things of the world, and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast in His presence.
30It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God: our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”#1:31 Jeremiah 9:24