1From Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes.
2To the members of God’s church in Corinth. You have been made holy in Christ Jesus, and you’ve been called to be his holy people together with all those everywhere who pray to our Lord Jesus Christ, who 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 my God for you because of the grace he has given you in Christ Jesus. 5Through him God has enriched you in every way, in speech and in knowledge, 6so you’ve been able to recognize that what we told you about Christ is true. 7You have every gift of the Holy Spirit as you wait eagerly for our Lord Jesus Christ to return. 8God will keep you strong to the very end, so that you will be blameless on the day he returns. 9God is faithful, and he has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Report About Arguments
10I ask all of you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree with one another and not argue. Look and think about things in the same way. 11My brothers and sisters, I say this because some people from Chloe’s family have told me that you’re arguing with one another. 12Here’s 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.”
13Is Christ divided? Did Paul die on the cross for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one can say they were baptized in my name. 16(Oh, right, I also baptized Stephanas and those in his house. I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17Christ didn’t send me to baptize; he sent me to preach the good news. But I wasn’t supposed to try to persuade you with fancy words, because 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. But to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. 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’re so smart.”
20Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where are the great thinkers of our time? Hasn’t God made the wisdom of the world foolish? 21God wisely planned that the world wouldn’t be able to understand him through its own wisdom. Instead, God was happy to use the foolish things we preach to save those who believe. 22Jews want to see signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach about Christ and his death on the cross. That’s very hard for Jews to accept, and Gentiles think it’s foolish. 24But to everyone God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom. 25The foolish things of God are wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when God called you. Not many of you were considered wise by human standards. Not many of you were influential. Not many of you came from important families. 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. 28God chose the things of this world that are common, and which are looked down on as if they were nothing, in order to discredit the things that are considered significant. 29That way no one can brag to God about who or what they are. 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 he sets us free. 31It is written, “The one who boasts should boast about what the Lord has done.”